To Build a Fire

Create creative titles

A paper on Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” should not be entitled Jack London or “To Build a Fire”. It should be entitled what you are saying about either or both, creatively, in the paper. This goes for rough drafts (when they occur for Major Grades later in the semester), for which you would have a “working title”. Please do not decorate your titles with CAPS, larger font, italics, quotation marks, or underlining. Your title should be the same font as the rest of the paper.

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  1. Commas go inside quotation marks

For example: When I read “The Red Convertible,”


When I read “The Red Convertible”,


  1. Title treatment

Poems, articles, essays, and short stories go in quotation marks AND books, movies, newspapers, TV shows and magazines should be italicized or underlined. Nothing goes in quotation marks and with italics/underlines. Every paper we write will involve not only the title we are writing about collectively, but “Case Study” titles as well.

  1. Periods go after – only after – parentheses.
  2. Periods go after, but quotation marks go before the parentheses.
  3. Space before writing your MLA parentheses.
  4. No parentheses belong in a research paper except MLA parentheses.
  5. Use keywords inside those parentheses. Entire titles and entire names are not necessary. When an author’s last name is available, always use that author’s last name as the keyword. When there can be confusion on the Works Cited page regarding your keyword, choose one that would avoid the confusion.
  6. Page numbers are included in parentheses for sources with page numbers.


  1. Here is the Works Cited model for a novel:


Works Cited


Theroux, Paul. Dark Star Safari. Boston: Mariner Books, 2004.



Author, last name first. Book Title. Place of Publishing Company: Publishing Company, Year of Publication. Indent second lines if they exist, which in the above example does not apply.


  1. Here is a Works Cited model for an Internet page. Note that there are three (only 3) mandatory elements to be included for any web page, although some pages also have authors, sponsors, and dates of update:


Works Cited


“Title of Web Page in Quotation Marks.” Date of Your Research



Another example, this time of a “stacked” web page (one with an author, sponsor, and date of update):


Randerson, James. “Childish Superstition: Einstein’s letter makes view of religion relatively clear.” The Guardian. 13 May 2008. 5 Jan 2010


  1. Last word: Not only should your entire paper be in the same font, all of your Works Cited should be in the same font. When copying and pasting long web addresses on to your Works Cited page, the next step if necessary may be to highlight the whole paper and choose only one type and one size font.



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