- MLA & APA Citation Guides - Wayne G. Basler Library (Northeast State)
- Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
- MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics
Honesty and integrity are key characteristics of a good student and a good citizen. By citing your sources, you are showing others that you are using information ethically, and you are giving credit to those whose ideas and words you borrow. You will read more about this in the plagiarism section of this module. In addition, any sources you cite in the body of your paper or project should appear in your list of sources at the end, either on a Works Cited page or a References page.
Any time you use the words or ideas of another, you need to give credit by using a citation. This includes direct quotes and paraphrasing. If you turn in a paper with a list of sources, but nothing in the text indicates that indicates that you have borrowed from someone else, that is a form of plagiarism.
This is an area where many students have problems. It is not enough to just include the source in your list of References or Works Cited. You also need to use in-text citation within your writing. Someone reading your paper or project should be able to tell whether what you are writing is your own or borrowed. When you use someone else's thoughts, words, or information, you need to alert the reader. Not only does this give credit to the source, but it also gives the reader a way to find the original. In-text citation points the reader to the appropriate source in your list of works cited.
Sometimes you can include the information within the writing, such as "According to so and so..., " "So and so tells us...," or any number of other variations. Other times, you will include the information about the sources at the end of the borrowed material. The specifics of how you do this will vary depending on the specific style you are using. View the resources below about in-text citation to learn more about how to format these citations in both MLA and APA styles.
Always check your assignment and course information to see if there is a specific style your teacher requires. Sometimes you are given a choice of styles. If this is the case, I recommend sticking with the same one throughout your course, or use one that is required in your other courses or major discipline. The two styles you will encounter most often are MLA and APA.
In the sections below, you will find resources to help you with citation in both MLA and APA.