In academic writing, you're asked to recognize those who've helped build your knowledge and ideas. This is done in the form of a citation and it tells your reader (usually your instructor) where you got your information.
It’s important to cite your sources every time you’re using ideas or information from someone else. This includes when you summarize information, paraphrase (put things into your own words), or use a direct quote.
Paraphrasing means you restate what an author said in your own words; summarizing is when you talk about the main concepts or points. A direct quote is when another person's exact words into your own writing.
Why You Must Cite Your Sources
Citing sources adds credibility to your argument. Citing is proof that you did research and that your conclusions are based on reliable information.
It helps you avoid plagiarism by giving credit to the people whose ideas and research you used to make your argument.
Citing shares the sources you discovered by presenting information about your sources in a standardized format that any scholar can use to track down the very same sources you consulted.
MLA Handbook by The Modern Language Association of AmericaRelied on by generations of writers, the MLA Handbook is published by the Modern Language Association and is the only official, authorized book on MLA style. The new, ninth edition builds on the MLA's unique approach to documenting sources using a template of core elements--facts, common to most sources, like author, title, and publication date--that allows writers to cite any type of work, from books, e-books, and journal articles in databases to song lyrics, online images, social media posts, dissertations, and more. With this focus on source evaluation as the cornerstone of citation, MLA style promotes the skills of information and digital literacy so crucial today. The many new and updated chapters make this edition the comprehensive, go-to resource for writers of research papers, and anyone citing sources, from business writers, technical writers, and freelance writers and editors to student writers and the teachers and librarians working with them. Intended for a variety of classroom contexts--middle school, high school, and college courses in composition, communication, literature, language arts, film, media studies, digital humanities, and related fields--the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook offers New chapters on grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, numbers, italics, abbreviations, and principles of inclusive language Guidelines on setting up research papers in MLA format with updated advice on headings, lists, and title pages for group projects Revised, comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for creating a list of works cited in MLA format that are easier to learn and use than ever before A new appendix with hundreds of example works-cited-list entries by publication format, including websites, YouTube videos, interviews, and more Detailed examples of how to find publication information for a variety of sources Newly revised explanations of in-text citations, including comprehensive advice on how to cite multiple authors of a single work Detailed guidance on footnotes and endnotes Instructions on quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, and avoiding plagiarism A sample essay in MLA format Annotated bibliography examples Numbered sections throughout for quick navigation Advanced tips for professional writers and scholars
Call Number: ONLINE
Publication Date: 2021-04-22
When to Cite
You will always cite your sources twice. The first time is in the body of the paper with a short note called an in-text citation. In MLA style, it's the author’s last name and the page number of where you found the information.
Then you cite a second time at the end of your paper with a list of works cited. These citations have all the details your reader would need to get back to the original source like author name(s), article or book titles, dates, and a few other key elements.
MLA Citation Style
MLA Style is a set of standards and guidelines to properly write and format papers. Developed by the Modern Language Association, MLA Style is the style typically used in the arts and humanities departments, including English and Literature classes.
MLA guides you on:
the format & page layout of your paper
stylistic technicalities in your writing (e.g. abbreviations, footnotes, quotations)
how you cite other authors within the body of your paper
how you compile a references page at the end of your paper
The MLA Style Centercan show you how to do "In-text Citations" and how to create your "Works Cited" list. The site also answers to common MLA questions and provides other great resources, including practice templates and sample papers.