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How would I write an extensive list of items? Normally I would write something like: I like to eat, fish, and swim. But that's only three. What if I had a list of like 15 items or something. Oh, and it has to be in MLA format.

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Hi, This is not a proper way to writte in MLA, what you have to do is that --make a list of all things. Then accordingly, arrange them.
My question pertains to a list in the body of the paper.
I'm not sure what you mean by making a list first and then arranging them.

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ok , let me check it out and i will be back to you
Ok, thanks.
Use a bullet list. I'm not versed in MLA, but bullet lists are perfectly valid in APA, so I suspect the same to be true for MLA.
I have a reference book but I don't know what to look under. I have: grammatical sentences, punctuation, mechanics, academic writing, sentence style, and then a last section on APA/CMS. I don't know anything about APA however so I don't know what CMS is either.
CMS is Chicago Manual of Style. You stated you have to use MLA so APA and CMS are not going to help you. If you don't have and MLA manual, this will be your next best bet. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Oh, I was unclear, I have a reference book [on MLA] but... I stated that the section was on APA/CMS so I guess it was my fault for being ambiguous. My apologies.
Oh in that case, just go back to the index pages of your MLA book and look up 'lists'. It should be covered. I would be highly surprised if it wasn't.
@Redwood Girl Where are you?
Hello! So, roadjester, why do you have a list of 15 or so items within an essay? Or is this *not* an essay? MLA format applies to papers (essays). Within a paper, one does not usually present a list. The idea is to develop your thoughts, not list them. But there may be something about the context here which is different?
I don't believe he mentioned he was writing an essay. I assumed it was an academic paper.
Let me clarify: we're talking about display lists here, I assume. An in-sentence list of a few items is another matter. But you'd said that's not what you need.
I guess I'm considering them to be the same thing. A paper, an essay. That's true, the paper could be focused on research, for example. But generally in an academic paper -- any that I've ever seen -- you're not presenting lengthy display lists.
And he's right: it's not covered in the MLA handbook. I have sometimes seen lists in scholarly works, and they tend to be punctuated like this -- a. item in lowercase, b. item in lowercase, c. item in lowercase. Note the punctuation. The style I am more accustomed to seeing in the corporate world is this -- - Item with sentence-style capping - Item with sentence-style capping - Item with sentence-style capping There is no end punctuation, unless one or more of the individual items is itself a full sentence. There are never commas or semicolons at the ends of list items.
I've had several papers that have contained lists. Not super lengthy ones, but lists nonetheless. One of the more recent was a software implementation plan for a company that had disparate computer systems and software. The list was The Boardman Management Groups has several computers running various operating systems and different versions of Microsoft word. The counts on those systems are as follows: * 7 Hewlett-Packard Pavilion 5030 with Windows 98 and Word 98 * 12 Dell Inspiron 537s with Windows XP and Word XP * 34 Dell Inspiron 546 with Windows 2000 and Word 2000
Oh, okay, see this is not ever the sort of academic paper I would have ever encountered in my classes. I guess that's why I was using "essay" also. In the sort of analytical, descriptive, or argumentative papers I've ever known, the idea is to develop thought -- to tease out the ideas into paragraphs, not construct lists. Your example offers something different, and clearly a list is necessary here. I'm wondering what the context is for roadjester's list. What kind of paper is this, what kind of list? That's first. If the list is indeed justified, I don't know what to say. MLA does not address these type of lists (formatted outside the sentence), because they generally do not apply within the realm of writing that MLA style applies to. The APA universe is different.
And that was two instances of "ever" just to drive the point home. :) (Something about proofreading here . . .)
Yes it's not real clear, especially the way he states the question: "Normally I would write something like: I like to eat, fish, and swim. But that's only three. What if I had a list of like 15 items or something." I can see how it would seem that perhaps an essay is being written here, and if that is the case, I agree with you. The list should be written out, perhaps in several sentences and not just listed in bullet style or as a long list in one sentence.
In the realm of the humanities, this is a common shortfall of novice writers: the tendency to recount plot rather than analyze it, the tendency to treat issues superficially, the tendency to list. You're always having to work with them to get them to dig deeper and to develop ideas in writing. So, when the original questioner mentioned a list, I immediately went there first.
Okay, this is a term paper in MLA. It's mostly an introductory paper like a biography but is still a term paper. It is a self-assessment paper and is divided into eight sections. The first section asks about my interests, hobbies, and classes I enjoy most. The second involves career values. The third section asks for me to list personality traits. These are the first three sections and all require lists. I don't think that a person has only three or four hobbies or interests. Mine span a great deal and that's why there is the possibility of fifteen items, perhaps more. This is not a research paper however so I honestly don't see the purpose of MLA formatting (mandatory) since I don't have any Works Cited. It's purely about me.
You had better check with your teacher on whether lengthy lists are going to cut it. A self- assessment paper is more likely to require you to develop these thoughts in paragraph form -- to *write* about yourself, not to present lists.
So, in terms of MLA format, then, it's just going to have to do with overall format on the page -- where and how you place your name, the course name, prof's name, and date, where and how you place the title, what the margins of the page are, that sort of thing.

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