Mini Papers

MLA Format Criteria:

  • Font-type: Times New Roman
  • Font-Size: only 12 point
  • Indents: first line of each paragraph of the body indents 1/2" (not five space bar clicks)
  • Spacing: Double space every line in the paper (no more, no less)
  • Margins: 1" from all sides (page number header will be within that inch, and that is ok.) From the top, your masthead must be 1"
  • No Bold
  • No Underlines
  • No exclamation marks--EVER!!!!!!!!
  • A paragraph should be no less than 1/3 the size of a page and no larger than 1/2 the size of a page.

    • Word sets extra spacing after paragraphs; highlight all, right click, choose paragraphs, and set spacing after paragraphs to zero

General Guidelines

  • Do not exceed one page.
  • Page 2 is for the Works Cited page only
  • ONLY use Valencia's MLA site; all other forms of citation other than Valencia are wrong, regardless of the source.
  • Double check with this page for proper formatting for papers

General grading

  • Mini papers are worth 50 points (which is half a letter grade in the course)
  • 12 points: proper lead-in and punctuation of a quote.
  • 13 points: Works Cited citation
  • 12 points: write up of the theory (grammar, syntax, etc.)
  • 13 points: write-up of the analysis paragraph (grammar, syntax, etc.)
    Structure of the Mini Papers

    Two Paragraphs
    (paragraphs should be 1/3 to 1/2 the length of a sheet of paper.)
    • 1st paragraph: Theory Paragraph
      • Do not use any introduction
      • Immediately discuss the theory (ideology/-ism)
      • Do not use the words "defined" or "definition"
      • If possible, include who created the theory or who the theory is attributed to
      • Quote an article (with a real human name as author) or primary work to help you discuss what the theory means.
      • Do not use the sources that are hyperlinked on Inverse. Find your own.
      • Do not use dictionaries or encyclopaedias or quote aggregators.
      • If needed, give some examples of the theory (but not in regards to your topic)

    • 2nd paragraph: Analysis Paragraph
      • Think that what you are doing in this paragraph is to help someone understand the theory better by showing that person how the theory relates to your topic
      • Depending on the theory, you might discuss many examples, or maybe even just one long example.

    Using Quotes in a paper

    • All quoting and citations must have a clear lead-in to the quote and a clear citation to the source.
    • I prefer the following method (Best Example) by which you present quotes.
    • A full sentence giving the first word from the works cited citation (as well as some other information about the source) and the general idea of the quote that will follow: "the actual word-for-word quote"
    • In his article "Go Dogs Go," Crowe suggests that when dogs first meet, they should do so in a place new to both of them: "Introduce the dogs in a neutral location that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park."
    • Because the author's name (the first word in the Works Cited citation), Crowe, is IN the sentence, you do not need to put the author's name in (parentheses) after the quote.
    • FYI: Crowe is the last name of the author in the examples below, and thus the first word in the citation in the Works Cited
        If you do not know why number 1 and 2 below are wrong, or why 3 is meh at best, or why 4 and 5 are correct but weak, then stick to the example given above (Best Example) when delivering quotes in a paper.

      1. Incorrect Crowe says that you should, "Introduce the dogs in a neutral location that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park."
        • The above needs more information about what the quote means.
        • If you combine a quote with your words, the whole sentence must be grammatically correct as if the quote marks do not exist; the above is not correct grammar due to the added comma


      2. Incorrect Crowe says that you should "Introduce the dogs in a neutral location that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park."
        • The above is meaningless; literally, the lead-in reveals nothing about the quote except that someone once wrote something or said something.
        • Never use say, says, said, stated or any word that turns the speaker/writer of the quote into a character in a fictional story or newspaper story.
        • The aim of setting up a quote is to present the speaker/writer and to interpret, for your reader, the general idea of the quote that will follow.


      3. meh Crowe suggests that dogs should first meet in a "location that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park."
        • The above gives no meaningful understanding of the quoted words.
        • The only use of the writer's words are as a cheap vessel to be able to relay some quoted words and to check off the requirement of a quote.


      4. Weak One article suggests that dogs should meet in a place new to both of them: "Introduce the dogs in a neutral location that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park"(Crowe).
        • The above is a correct form of quoting and citing sources in papers, but it's weak because its just a whisper in the dark. Who is speaking? How can we assess the credibility of the source? (without pausing to find the source in the Works Cited?)


      5. Weak The article "Introducing a New Dog to Your Household Pack" suggests that dogs should meet in a place new to both of them: "Introduce the dogs in a neutral location that is unfamiliar to both dogs, such as a park"(Crowe).
      • The above is weak; it's another whisper in the dark. We have a bit of the citation information (the article name) but why not, then, go ahead and give the author's name by writing the lead-in this way: In Crowe's article "Introducing...


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