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Research Guides
Learning Resource Center Information Commons

Research Process: Citations

This guide focuses on the skills and resources needed to complete a research project.

Citation Basics

A citation reflects all of the information a person would need to locate a particular source. For example, basic citation information for a book consists of name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), title of book, name of publisher, place of publication, and most recent copyright date.
A citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting.

A bibliography lists citations for all of the relevant resources a person consulted during his or her research.

In an annotated bibliography, each citation is followed by a brief note—or annotation—that describes and/or evaluates the source and the information found in it.

A works cited list presents citations for those sources referenced in a particular paper, presentation, or other composition.
An in-text citation consists of just enough information to correspond to a source's full citation in a Works Cited list. In-text citations often require a page number (or numbers) showing exactly where relevant information was found in the original source.

MLA Citation Help

APA Citation Help

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Citation Overview

What's the Big Deal?

The purpose of properly citing sources is:

  • to identify the origin of the information giving the author credit, and
  • to allow the reader to find the original source.

Plagiarism is the result of not properly citing sources.

Cite it Right! APA

Cite it Right! MLA

Works Cited Page

General Guidelines for a Works Cited Page (MLA):

  • Begin on a new page
  • Alphabetize list
  • Indent every line after the first line five spaces
  • Double space all citations
  • Include medium of publication for each entry
  • No longer required to include the URL for electronic sources
  • Use italics for books and magazines
  • Use quotation marks for articles and poems

Research Tutorial

Citation Pamphlets & Brochures

When to Cite

All of the following require a citation:

  • Summary
  • Paraphrase
  • Direct Quote

Basically, anything that is not cited should be your own original idea or common knowledge.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations signal the reader that the information in the body of the paper is attributed to another source. In-text citations must have a corresponding citation on the Works Cited or Reference page.

The word of phrase used in the in-text citation must be the first word in the citation on the Works Cited or Reference page.

Examples of MLA in-text citations:

   Lister claims that "stained glass work is an act of meditation" (23).

   Interest in rap music has been increasingly mainstream (Bliss and Thomas 75).

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