1. Scott Zeid
  2. mla-simple


MLA Simple ========== Simplifies the process of writing MLA papers in LaTeX. Copyright (c) 2012 Scott Zeid. Released under the X11 License. This is a LaTeX file, `mla-simple.tex`, that simplifiies the creation of MLA papers using LaTeX. It defines an environment called `mla-simple`, a wrapper of mla-paper's `mla` environment that automatically handles Works Cited pages. It also fixes various formatting issues which exist when using the MLA package by itself, specifically: * Uses the correct date format (DD MMMMM YYYY). * Removes the extraneous "References" heading when using BibTeX on the Works Cited page. * Re-enables two spaces after periods. * Uses the correct 12 point font size. * Includes and uses a BibTeX style called "mla-new" by Patrick W. Daly. * Fixes the above BibTeX style to use proper formatting for URLs. Other features of MLA Simple include: * Support for UTF-8 encoded input files (using inputenc). * A Makefile and shell script that help automate the process of writing LaTeX files on the command line. They should work with any basic LaTeX document, not just ones that use MLA Simple. Requirements ------------ * Packages * datetime * ifpdf * inputenc * mla (mla-paper) * natbib Usage ----- Simply include mla-simple using `\input{mla-simple.tex}`. Then, begin your document environment as usual (but you do not need to declare the document class; MLA Simple does this for you) and then create an instance of the `mla-simple` environment, passing your name, instructor, course name, date, and paper title as arguments. Then write your paper inside that environment. For your Works Cited page, make a BibTeX file with the same name as your LaTeX file, but with the .bib extension, and cite your sources using the `\mcite` command. (You can use a different file name by using the `\wcfile` command.) These two commands, as well as the `\nowc` command described later, are defined by MLA Simple. `\mcite` is equivalent to `(\citealt{source})`, with `\citealt` being part of the `natbib` package. If you have no sources, you can just use the `mla` environment which is part of the `mla` package. You can also insert the `\nowc` command somewhere in your document. If you want to define your sources manually, use the `mla` environment instead of the `mla-simple` environment, and wrap your sources within the `workscited` enviroment (both part of the `mla` package). Finally, convert your document into the appropriate format. The included Makefile can convert your document into PDF or DVI format for you. Example ------- \input{mla-simple.tex} \begin{document} \begin{mla-simple} {Scott}{Zeid}{Professor Jane Doe}{Compositon II}{\today} {Test MLA Simple Document} This is a test MLA Simple document \mcite{mla-simple}. \end{mla-simple} \end{document} Formatting tips --------------- * Sometimes, you have to cite full dates, not just the year. However, you could simply put the whole date field, like this: year = "4 April 1984" * When citing Web resources, you usually have to include the date on which you retrieved it. You can do this using the note field. For example: @misc{starbucks, author = "Starbucks Coffee", title = "Starbucks Coffee", note = "Web. 16 April 2012", url = "http://www.starbucks.com/" } * To restore the default US date format when using `\today`, do `\usdate`. (This is part of the `datetime` package.) To go back to MLA dates, do `\mladate` (from MLA Simple). See [the `datetime` documentation] [datetime] for more date formats. Makefile usage -------------- The included Makefile is intended to help simplify the process of converting a LaTeX document into other formats. Currently DVI and PDF are supported. ### Targets (assuming your document's filename is `starbucks.tex`) * `starbucks` * `starbucks.pdf` Makes PDF *AND* DVI files from the document. * `starbucks.dvi` Makes a DVI file from the document. * `clean` Removes all intermediate files in the current directory. This is done automatically by the other targets. * `clean-all` Removes all intermediate files, as well as all DVI and PDF files, in the current directory. `write` usage ------------- MLA Simple includes a shell script, `write`, that runs the editor defined in `$EDITOR` and then runs the Makefile on the given LaTeX file. It will be created with a simple template if it does not exist, and an empty BibTeX file will also be created if necessary. If the editor is Vim or Gvim, it will open both the LaTeX file and the BibTeX file in tabs. (Vim 7 or later is required for this to work.) ### Invocation `./write <filename without .tex extension> [<extension of output file>]` If the output file extension is not given, it will default to `pdf`. This argument is simply passed on to the Makefile. For PDFs, the Makefile will also leave behind a DVI file. Credits ------- * [mla-good.bst obtained from the Reed College Help Desk.][mla-good.bst] This version actually works with recent versions of BibTeX. I have modified this to fix the formatting of URLs. (They should be enclosed in angle brackets, while the original version prefixed the text "URL".) * [`Stefan_K` from latex-community.org][hide-bib-heading] for information on how to suppress the default bibliography heading without leaving extra vertical space. License ------- The template is released under the X11 License. However, please note that the included `mla-simple.bst` BibTeX style, based on `mla-new.bst` by Patrick W. Daaly, is released under the LaTeX Project Public License (version 1.0 or later), which [is not compatible with the GNU General Public License] [lppl-gpl]. [datetime]: http://theoval.cmp.uea.ac.uk/~nlct/latex/packages/datetime/datetime-manual.html [hide-bib-heading]: http://www.latex-community.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4089#p16041 [lppl-gpl]: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#LPPL-1.2 [mla-good.bst]: http://web.reed.edu/cis/help/latex/bibtexstyles.html#reedsty Copyright (C) 2012 Scott Zeid. 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