English Department
Writing Center

Do you have a question about writing?  Is it a short question that doesn't require a full tutoring session?  Maybe you're just curious about a comma splice, made a misguided MLA mistake, or are unsure about the usage of words like umbra, umbilicus, or umiak.  If you need quick help, send us a Quick Question and we'll post the answer on this very page!  We'll try to post your answer within three days of receiving the email.  Please put QUICK QUESTION in the subject heading of your email.

Remember: Some questions require a longer answer or are specific to your paper, requiring a tutoring session to discuss.  If this is the case we won't be able to post your question on the web, but we'll send you a return email encouraging you to make an appointment with a tutor.  Happy Writing!

I have a silly comma question:
> Is there any way that the sentence
> "Our new after school program is underway thanks to several local volunteers."
> should have a comma between underway and thanks?
> My inclination is to say no, but I just wanted to check.
> -jen stone

You are right that your sentence doesn't need a comma. However, you do
have the option of using a comma. If you do decide to use a comma, it
makes the "thanks to several local  volunteers" part seem less important.
If you don't use a comma, both parts of the sentence seem equally
important. It's your choice!

How do you cite a source off the web?? Can you give a format please? thanx

Well, I'm not sure what type of web document you are citing, or if you are asking how to cite it in the body of your paper versus in a works cited (or both?).  So I'll try to give you a couple of good examples.

MLA Format Personal or Professional Web Site:
In the works cited, give the author's name, if known (look at the bottom of the main page or for a link called "credits" on some pages), or start with the title of the site, underlined or italicized.  Include the date of publication or the latest update, the name of any institution or organization associated with the site, the date of access, and the URL, in single brackets.

Patterson, Lyndsey. English Department Writing Center Home Page.
     March 2003. Dept of English, U of Washington. 19 March 2003

UW Squirrels Gone Wild. 16 Jan. 2000. Housing and Food Services,
    University of Washington. 16 March 2003

In text citation: Give enough information in a single phrase or parenthetical citation for readers to locate the source.  Specify a source's page, section, paragraph, or screen numbers, if numbered, in parentheses.

Describing the way squirrels scurry from dumpster to dumpster, the
Gone Wild web site explains that "what's innate about squirrels is just
a way of paying attention to which Dumpsters will be chock full of
good food" (UW Squirrels Gone Wild, sec. 4).

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