Code in MLA style papers

This is a discussion on Code in MLA style papers within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Anyone know what is the "proper" way to insert computer code into a MLA style paper? Haven't had a chance ...

  1. #1
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Code in MLA style papers

    Anyone know what is the "proper" way to insert computer code into a MLA style paper? Haven't had a chance to talk to my instructor about it so I'm flying blind.

    I'm thinking about doing it like this:
    1) Change the font to fix width font (Courier New)
    2) Indenting every line kinda like you would if quoting a paragraph.
    3) Keeping the double spacing

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    I've never done it either, but what you suggested sounds good, except maybe make it single spacing...It seems like it might be too spread out with double space, but I don't know
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  3. #3
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    You should treat it like any other quote:

    1) Indented
    2) Single-spaced

    Or better yet, put it in an appendix.

    (At least that's how I've been trained to do it... although I'm not sure what the latest MLA style book says)

  4. #4
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    What Ober said, and certainly the fixed-wdth font. It would be too hard to read without it.
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  5. #5
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
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    I would definately put in in the appendix and maybe quote a few lines in your text if you really need to...

    I just found this... dont' know if it will help you any, but:
    What is Plagiarism?

    According to the PCC Student Handbook, plagiarism is "the deliberate adoption or reproduction of ideas or words or statements of another person as oneís own without acknowledgement"(8). From the Latin word plagiarius (plunderer), plagiarism is an act of intellectual theft and intellectual fraud ("Plagiarism" 888). The one who plagiarizes is stealing the work of another and then trying to deceive another into believing that work belongs to him/her.

    "Work" as listed above includes "original ideas, strategies, and research"(Spatt 438), art, graphics, computer programs, music and other creative expressions. The work may consist of writing, charts, pictures, graphs, diagrams, data, websites or other communication or recording media, and may include "sentences, phrases, and innovative terminology" (438), formatting or other representations.

    To acknowledge anotherís work, one must cite the source. The term "source" includes published works (books, magazines, newspapers, websites, plays, movies, photos, paintings and textbooks) and unpublished works (class lectures or notes, handouts, speeches, interviews, other studentsí papers or material from a research service).

    Using words, ideas, computer code or any work by someone else without giving proper credit is plagiarism. Every time you use information from a source, you must cite it.
    taken from: http://www.pueblocc.edu/advise/judplag.htm
    and here's how to quote things MLA style: http://www.uky.edu/~jcscot00/101/mlaquoterules.htm
    ooh... and looky here... an example quote from a C++ book: http://www.aresearchguide.com/5quoting.html
    Last edited by major_small; 12-09-2003 at 07:31 PM.
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    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    The thing is that I want to use it directly in the paper. IE:

    This is an example of blah blah

    <code>


    Except worded better of course. Putting it in an appendix would make it much more difficult to write the paper as the reader would have to be going back and forth too much. As for the citing the source the code will be my own or code that is considered public knowledge (ie the hello world program).

    I think I'll just do it the way I feel is best and then get more directions from the instructor tomorrow during the peer review time (since as far as my grade is concerned what she thinks is best is the only one that matters)

  7. #7
    Board Conservative UnregdRegd's Avatar
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    In the most recent editions of the MLA Handbook, from what teachers have said, everything is double spaced now, including long quotes. I doubt the MLA Handbook specifically covers computer source code so I recommend treating it like a long quote, with the exception that a fixed-width font should be used.
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  8. #8
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly aren't long quotes indented on both margins? If so think I should do the same?

    Edit: Well draft is done. Here is what I did:
    For the two short program examples I inserted them stright into the paper, indented, and changed the font to fixed width. Left spacing the same.
    For the two longer examples I put them in an appendix. To achieve a column effect I put them in a 1X2 table each in its own cell. They are in fixed width font, not indented, and single spaced. Well I'll just have to find out tomorrow what the instructor thinks. I'll let you all know when I get back.
    Last edited by Thantos; 12-09-2003 at 11:28 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User axon's Avatar
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    I will be taking a class on CS presentations next semester, but as far as I know right now from looking over some of my friend's papers both quotations and appendecies are allowed; the only difference is that code should be written not in TimesNewRoman but courier(sp?) new.

    some entropy with that sink? entropysink.com

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Also using quotes w/o placing quotations around the statements is also plagiarism. I cited every source in my biblio in one of my papers, but the prof deemed that I quoted directly from the book - so because I forgot those stupid quotes she tried to tell me I was plagiarizing. Totally unintentional on my part but she gave me a zero on the paper so my grade went from A in the class to D.

    Sucks to because I had over 150 notecards worth of research on the dumb paper.

    So...don't forget the quotes. Most profs prob would not be this hard but just in case.

  11. #11
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    It depends Bubba, if you are taking the quote word for world the " " are required, but if you are summarizing what they said (but still using their idea) then you don't use quote but just put the annotation at the end of the sentence.

  12. #12
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
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    >>So...don't forget the quotes. Most profs prob would not be this hard but just in case.

    you're right... some would send you straight to jail... the truth is they have no choice... not accepting the paper is their only option besides pressing charges... if they knowingly do anything else (low grade, etc) would put them in danger of losing their job...

    since you cited them without quotes, there is no way the professor can say they didn't know...
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    These style requirements are a pet peeve of mine. To reject a paper because it doesn't conform to some arbitrary standard is the mark of an anal mind. Did Freud use the APA standard? Did Einstein use the MLA standard? A paper should be judged on it's content and how well the information is presented, with a few style requirements like citing sources and quotes. The rest is BS.
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