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Citing Sources

Citing Your Sources

What is a citation?

  • Citations are how we give credit to the sources we used in our writing.

Why must we use citations (or cite our sources)?

  • If you use what someone said or wrote and do not give them credit it is called plagiarism.  We want to avoid plagiarism. 
  • Also, when we cite sources our readers know they can trust that we are giving them accurate information. 
  • Finally, our readers can use our citations to read the source we used to write our papers and to find out more information.

Collecting information

  • In order to cite your source, you must collection bibliographic information, such as the author, title, date, and publisher.  Use the Bibliographic Gathering Former in the locker on the left to help you.  

Formatting Entries

  • Once you've gathered your information, you need to format it following the rules for the type of source (for example: book, encylopedia, magazine, video).  To do this, you may use the links below or the MLA Format Handout in the locker on the left.

Organizing Entries

  • After you have formatted your sources, you will list them in alphabetical order on their own page and title it the Works Cited page.  Your teacher may give you more rules to follow for this page. 


Interactive Citation Tools:  Use these tools to enter the bibliographic information you collected to create a citation. It works best when you use the manual entry mode. Always use the guides below to double check that your citation is correct.  .

Official Guides:These guides are the official and final authority.  You should always use them to double check your citations/works cited page before submitting assignments. 

  • Purdue OWL – MLA guide from Purdue University.  This is the most detailed guide and includes specifics of formatting an entire paper by MLA format (not just citations).  It also has example papers and works cited lists.
  • LIU Post MLA Citation Guide -- This is a fabulous color coded guide showing samples of citations in MLA format.  The "Notes" section at the end provides detailed descriptions of each element of an entry (i.e. Authors, Titles [including how to distinguish complete works versus segments], publisher, etc.) and instructions for different types of media..
  • Bibliography Guide -- Greece School District's guide to MLA.
  • Works Cited and Parenthetical Citations Document – This one page guide includes a few reminders and samples of works cited entries.  It is NOT a comprehensive guide, but may be used as a quick reference once you are more familiar with created works cited entries.