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Citing Your Sources

Why cite your sources?

  • To give credit to authors/researchers/writers and ideas that are not your own
  • Using high quality sources helps support your argument
  • To allow readers/researchers to locate the sources you used
  • To maintain academic integrity and avoid academic dishonesty and plagarism

When in doubt, cite!

  • If you read it and use the idea or a quote, cite it
  • If it is in a research paper, cite it
  • If it is in a reflection paper, cite it
  • If you are using past research, cite it

When in doubt, cite!

Citing properly requires:

1. An in-text citation

When you use the work of another person, you must make note of this in the text. Do this by including an in-text citation which gives a brief reference and helps the reader locate the full citation that you'll include as part of your References list.

2. A list of works referenced

The last page of your paper is typically a list of resources you used/utilized/consulted.

MLA Examples

Template: AuthorLastName, FirstName. Book Title. Publisher, Year.

One author: Morrison, Toni. Beloved. Knopf, 1987.

Multiple authors: Mann, Jill, and Piero Boitani. The Cambridge Chaucer Companion. Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Chapter in an edited book: Mayfield, Julian. "James Baldwin: Voice of a Revolution." Critical Essays on James Baldwin, edited by Fred L. Stanley and Nancy V. Burt, G.K. Hall, 1988, 188-201.

Template: AuthorLastName, FirstName. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol. #, no. #, date, pages. [doi/url if available]

Journal article (with DOI): Bisschoff, Lizelle. "African Cyborgs: Females and Feminists in African Science Fiction Film." Interventions: The International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, vol. 22, no. 5, 2020, pp. 608-623. EBSCO MegaFILE, doi:10.1080/1369801X.2019.1659155.

Journal article (no DOI): Williams, Linda. "Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess." Film Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 4, 1991, pp. 2-13.

Template: AuthorLastName, FirstName. "Article Title." Website Publisher, Date, URL.

Article on a website: Wabuke, Hope. "'Caste' Argues its Most Violent Manifestation is in Treatment of Black Americans." NPR, August 10, 2020,

Streaming Video: Yuan, Eric. "How to Connect While Apart." TED, July 2020,

Need More Information?

See our Citation Styles guide to learn more about citing your sources.