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English 101: Citing your Sources

Why Cite It?

Whenever you use someone else's exact words (quotation) or put their main ideas into your own words (paraphrase), you need to cite the original source completely. Your professor will need to know where you found the information & a complete citation will let your reader easily find the cited source because it will include the author, title, publication date, page number, & more, depending on the type of resource you are citing.

Tips

  • Know what citation style your professor requires (will usually be MLA or APA)
  • Collect your citations as you go--it makes it a lot easier to compile your Works Cited or References page!
  • Keep track of the page numbers as you find interesting information--it's a lot easier than looking them all up again later!
  • Set some time aside for formatting your Works Cited/Reference page. Depending on how many sources you are citing, it takes a while to make sure everything is alphabetic according to the author's last name & that the information is listed accurately & in the proper order.

Below are some links to resources that provide examples of what correct citations should look like, as well as a few online citation generators that can help you as you find resources.

MLA Style

MLA Format

Many library resources have "cite" tools that will automatically generate a citation for you, but you still need to double-check them for accuracy & make sure that they are formatted according to your professor's guidelines and/or the course required MLA Style Guide. Below are a few additional online resources that may help you.

More Citation Management Tools


Watch & Learn

Our YouTubePlaylist has videos to help you set up your cover page and format your paper, plus learn how to use the OWL to craft your citations.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Problems viewing? Watch it on YouTube.

More on Academic Integrity

Plagiarizing is just one example of Academic Dishonesty. Other examples include:

  • Letting your work be used by other students (like uploading it to a shared site like Course Hero).
  • Reusing your own paper (self-plagiarizing) for different courses.
  • Inventing or fabricating evidence, sources, or citations.

In addition to being unethical, violating Academic Integrity may lead to disciplinary action. Visit the Student Code of Conduct on Academic Integrity for more details.



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