What should be documented?
Your essay or paper needs to have evidence, or support, or proof of the points you are making. The main evidence you use in a literature essay comes in the form of ideas or words from the text you are analyzing. Below is a list of the situations where you should acknowledge the sources of information you use.
A) WHEN QUOTING: if you quote an author's exact words
Walker states that "womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender," but does not stop at defining herself as a feminist (173).
B) WHEN PARAPHRASING: if you use your own words, but you use another author's ideas.
The aristocratic heroic and kinship values of Germanic society continued to inspire both clergy and laity during Christian times (Smith 323).
C) WHEN SUMMARIZING: if you summarize one or more points in another author's writing.
The Renaissance was seen as a time of upheaval of traditional art forms and societal values, paving the way for a more enlightened and broad view of the foreign world (Rahemtulla 988).
D) STATISTICS OR FACTS: if you use a fact or a statistic that is not common knowledge.
The Dutch Crown’s overseas territories were vastly increased in 1667 (Charland 301).
Klassen, C., J. Robinson and M. Stainsby. "In Text Citation Using MLA Style." Douglas College. Douglas College. 2012. Web. 22 July 2015.