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MLA Formatting in Context

For students trying to learn how to use MLA format correctly, it is useful to evaluate a research paper for correct formatting.  Exerpts from a student essay on cell phones are provided below.  Portions of the essay are highlighted.  Examine these elements and decide if they are correctly formatted; if not, think about what needs to change.  Then, click on the highlighted text to reveal the correction (if one is needed).


Tamara Furusho

Jennifer Royal

English 1A

April 10, 2004

Cell Phones Are Cool

     Cell phones are cool. Everyone has one. They have become a status

symbol. Wrangler jeans have a sticker labeled “Cell Phone Pocket!” on

their jeans for back to school for children’s sizes 5 through 9. My son is

5 and doesn’t know our phone number let alone anyone else’s, but

when I saw that sticker on his jeans during back to school shopping, I

actually found myself wondering if he was old enough to have his own

cell phone. They almost got me, but I came to reality.

     With over 97 million users in America alone, cell phones are

everywhere, for better or worse. While cell phone coverage and signals

couldn’t be much worse, cell phones themselves are getting better and

better. Although the primary purpose of a cell phone is still to make

phone calls, they have become a multimedia tool. Today’s phones can

browse the Internet and send and receive email, and take pictures and

capture video footage. The newest features include a PDA (Personal

Digital Assistant), ability to run Java Software Applications such as

Telenav 2.2 which provides audible driving directions, and voice record.

Cell phones are the center of future technology, integrating multiple

electronic gadgets into one, bringing freedom to individuals and society

as a whole. They will continue to improve the quality of living, or at

least the quantity of things that can be squeezed into one day.

     Wired and wireless technology will work seamlessly in the future.

Traditional phone companies will see most sales in terms of Internet

connections and will see a dramatic drop in customers with landlines.

But according to CellPhoneCarriers.com “the wireless revolution cannot

take place until reception and coverage areas increase” (“Look”).

     One of the most promising looks into the future of cell phone

technology is their role in “Smart Houses." These homes are straight

out of the Jetsons cartoon; these homes use a “centralized computer

network to deliver electronically coordinated assistance” (Hoover). This

controls sensors connected to security monitors, door locks, blinds and

even appliances that can all be controlled by cell phones. . . .

     Unfortunately, there is new evidence that suggests the possibility

that cell phones cause brain tumors. A recent study revealed that

“users who spend more than an hour a day talking on a mobile phone

have a close to one-third higher risk of developing a rare form of brain

tumor”, usually on the same side they hold the cell phone to their ear.

(Dr. Mercola) To be safe, it is best to join in and become one of the Bud

People: “A new species, infrequently sighted but growing in number,

the Bud People keep their phones hidden and have small earphones

and tiny microphone” (Guernsey) as this eliminates the need to hold

the cell phone to the head. Also, it makes for safer driving while talking

on a cell phone, a proven safety hazard.

     Cell phones have become an accessory and a necessity. The lines

between multimedia, entertainment and communication are blurred

and broken. Society has gone wireless and connectivity is key.

Teenagers with cell phones have proven that they have mastered

networking and full use of their wireless accessory. Although this may

not be an entirely positive contribution to society at present, this next

generation holds much potential for integrating cell phone use into

many facets of living. There is a new generation of cell phones for each

new generation of users.


Works Cited

A Look Into The Future Of Cell Phones.” Cell Phone Carriers.com.


Guernsey, Lisa. “No, I’m Not Talking To You.” (New York Times; New

York, N.Y.; Jun 8, 2000)

Hoover, Aaron. “UF ‘Smart Home’ Demonstrates Concept of Automated

Elderly Help and Care.” UF News 19 Nov. 2003.


Mercola, Dr.. “Cell Phones and Brain Tumors.” Dr. Mercola Feb. 2003.




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