Practice Documenting Using MLA

  • Take what you’ve learned up to this point and apply it in this short exercise. The following paragraph has been adapted from: Burby, Liza Better Homes and Gardens Oct. 1998: 108.

    Think of the level of excitement a kid has opening birthday presents. Adding to the fun are pizza, birthday cake, and games—quite a contrast to most days spent in a classroom. “Kids just don’t get the same adrenaline rush memorizing a poem in school that they get from going to a party,” says Russ Quaglia. “The sense of fun and adventure they have in going to school and learning new things begins to wane by third grade when they’ve learned the basic skills,” Quaglia says. “By seventh grade, with their hormones kicking in and their peers being paramount in their lives, their lament is, ‘School is so boring!’ By high school, they’re talking about school as some kind of prison.” It’s not that are kids aren’t interested in learning. More than ever, when they say, “booooring” what they really mean is this: “What does this have to do with my life? How does this have value for me? What’s the point of doing work?” While your children may never react any stronger than staring off into space and sighing over their homework, there is much you can do to stimulate their love of learning. Send them off with a natural inquisitiveness that they learned from their first school: home.

    On scratch paper, create sentences using quotes from the preceding passage, which is located on page 108 in the magazine. Go back to documenting within the text if you need some extra help.

    1. Include the author and a signal phrase in your sentence.
      • Burby suggests that parents should “send [their children] off with a natural inquisitiveness that they learned from their first school: home.” (108).
    2. Do not include the author in your sentence.
      • Even though children may find school boring, “there is much you can do to stimulate their love of learning” (Burby 108).
    3. Use a quote from an indirect source.
      • Quaglia argues that “kids just don’t get the same adrenaline rush memorizing a poem in school that they get from going to a party” (qtd. in Burby 108).

    Updated: February, 8 2005 by Abigail J. Aldrich