Sample Footnotes in MLA Style
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If you choose to indent your paragraphs as recommended in the MLA Handbook, 6th ed. (132), begin a new paragraph by typing the first word 1/2" (1.25 cm or 5 spaces) from the left margin. The entire essay is typed double-spaced, except for Footnote citations at the foot of the page. Title of essay centered, 1” (2.5 cm) margin on all four sides, page number at upper right hand corner 1/2" (1.25 cm) down from the top.
If your instructor prefers that paragraphs not be indented, you must still double-space your lines, but you will need to quadruple-space between paragraphs. More empty space is created for the instructor to write comments when paragraphs are not indented.
Footnotes must be listed numerically and consecutively, both in your essay and in your Footnote citation. Footnote numbers must be superscripted. In your text, add a superscripted number immediately after the quote or reference cited with no space.
The Footnote citations must be added at the foot or bottom of the SAME page where you have cited the sources. All first Footnote references must be cited in full. Subsequent references of the same work may be shortened to include only the author's last name and page number. If the source cited has no author stated, use whatever minimal information is needed to identify the same work previously cited, e.g. short title and page number. Formerly, the Latin terms ibid. and op. cit. were used but they are no longer preferred.
It is recommended that you use Endnotes in place of Footnotes. This will eliminate the need to allow sufficient space to accommodate all the required Footnote entries at the bottom of the same page where your citations occur. If your instructor has no preference, use the much simpler Parenthetical Documentation in place of Footnotes or Endnotes.
For details on how to handle Footnotes that continue onto the next page, please see pages 269-270 in:
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: MLA, 2003.Note: A new edition of MLA Handbook is now available:
for Writers of Research Papers
Begin your Footnote citations four lines (quadruple space) below your text. Follow the spacing as shown in the example below, e.g. indent the first line 1/2" (1.25 cm), and add a space after the superscripted number. Do not indent second and subsequent lines of Footnotes. Single-space Footnotes within each citation as there is not much room at the bottom of the page. Double-space entries between citations, and be sure to list them in the same consecutive order as cited in the text of the essay.
Mr. K. Smith
26 May 2012
The Many Facets of Taboo
The World Book Encyclopedia defines Taboo as "an action, object, person, or place
forbidden by law or culture."1
An encyclopedia of the occult points out that taboo is found among many other cultures
ancient Egyptians, Jews and others.2
Mary Douglas has analyzed the many facets and interpretations of taboos across
She points out that the word "taboo" originates from the Polynesian
languages meaning a religious restriction.3 She finds that "taboos flow from social
boundaries and support the
Robert Deliège points out that as early as 1777, Captain James Cook reported
that some chiefs in Tonga were taboo and were not allowed to behave like
people, and that the first European observers were not quite sure whether
"sacred" or "defiled."5
In traditional British East Africa, between the time of puberty and marriage, a young
Akamba girl must maintain an avoidance relationship with her own father.6
Looking at taboo in a modern society,
Marvin Harris gives an interesting example of the
application of cultural materialism to the Hindu taboo against eating beef.7
5 Robert Deliège, "Untouchability
- Taboos - Bibliography," Science Encyclopedia, Web. 26 May 2012
6 Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo (New York: Random, 1918) 17.
Marvin Harris, "The Cultural Ecology of India’s Sacred Cattle," Current Anthropology
1992, 7:51-66, qtd. in Stacy McGrath, "Ecological Anthropology," Anthropological Theories: A Guide Prepared by Students for Students
19 Oct. 2001, U. of Alabama, Web. 26 May 2012 <http://www.as.ua.edu/ant/Faculty/Murphy/ecologic.htm>.
If your instructor considers your Footnote citations to be adequate documentation, you may not be required to complete a Works Cited, References or Bibliography page. Otherwise, a separate page must be added at the end of your paper entitled: Works Cited, References, or Bibliography to include all of the above Footnote citations. See sample below.
Deliège, Robert. "Untouchability - Taboos - Bibliography." Science
Web. 26 May 2012
Douglas, Mary. "Taboo." Man, Myth & Magic.
Ed. Richard Cavendish. New ed.
21 vols. New York: Cavendish,
1994. 2546-2549. Print.
Dundes, Alan. "Taboo." World Book Encyclopedia.
2000 ed. Print.
Freud, Sigmund. Totem and Taboo. New York: Random, 1918. Print.
McGrath, Stacy. "Ecological Anthropology." Anthropological Theories: A Guide
Prepared by Students for Students. 19 Oct. 2001. U. of Alabama. Web. 26 May 2012
"Taboo." Occultopedia: Encyclopedia of Occult Sciences
and designed by
Marcus V. Gay. Web. 26 May 2012 <http://www.occultopedia.com/t/