Citing Sources

Why We Document Sources
Keys to Quotation Integration
What are MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian Styles?
Comparing Key Features of APA and MLA
Citing Sources: MLA Style
Keys to MLA Works Cited
Keys to MLA In-Text Citations
Sample Citations in MLA format
Citing Sources: APA Style
Keys to APA References: Documenting Sources at the End of the Essay
Keys to APA In-Text Citation: Documenting Sources within an Essay
Sample citations in APA format

 


Why We Document Sources

Avoid plagiarism

Establish credibility

Leave a trail for others to follow back to the source

Honor/respect the work of others

Show respect for your own work

Show that you are part of the community that cites sources

Participate in a standard

Recognize the academic context

Establish relationships among texts

Show our expertise by our knowledge of experts

Show evidence for claims

Align self with smart thinkers

Take protection from authority

Give credit where credit is due

Call attention to an overlooked source

Help publicize a source

Suggest our debt to another

Create a trail of how we came to think something


Keys to Quotation Integration
  • All quotations (word for word sections taken from another source marked off by quotation marks) must be accompanied by an in-text citation with a period following.Possible sentence patterns:

    • Beginning of sentence introduces “word for word quote” (in-text citation).
    • “Quote,” speaker identified (in-text citation).
    • Discussion leads up to “selected quoted passage” that you then continue to discuss (in-text citation).
    • Sentence uses “a longer selected quoted passage with many words” and the continued sentence or a next sentence highlights “small phrase from quote” to help argument (in-text citation).
      • The chairman said “abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz” (in-text citation).In referring to the issue at hand as “xyz,” the chairman goes against his original position on the issue, confirming that paraphrased abc simply isn’t true.
    • Sentence that includes paraphrase or summary (in-text citation).
  • Ellipses (. . .) should not be used at the beginning or end of a quote.Ellipses denote that text is missing, but it is already understood that you are taking a quote from something that has text before and after.You should only use ellipses if you have omitted certain words in the middle of the quote.
    • Not: Dr. X says “. . .the important thing is that y is z” (143).
    • Not: Dr. X says “the important thing is that y is z . . .” (143).
  • Quotations should be relevant to your point and accurately stated.
  • Quotations should be carefully selected.Great attention should be given to where you begin and end a quotation.
  • Quotations should not be overused.The essay is yours.
  • Block quotes: If a quote takes up over four lines of your essay, you need to block it off by indenting the entire quote one-half inch. Because the quote is marked off in a block and is easily recognizable as material taken from another source, blocked quotes do not need quotation marks.Block quotes do need in-text citations.Block quotes, like the rest of the text remain in double space.
    • X goes on to suggest that:

quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote

quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote

quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote

quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quote

quote quote quote quote quote quote. (143)

  • Most importantly, quotations should not stand alone. A quotation says somebody else is speaking in your essay.Make sure it is clear who is speaking and why. Also, don’t leave the interpretation of the quotation or how you are seeing the relevance/importance of the information up to your reader. It is your job to fully integrate the quotation: introduce the quotation, identify the speaker, re-present the information, show how you are thinking about it, explain the importance of your conclusions based on the new evidence, etc.Your “sandwiching” of a quotation is especially important when you include a long quotation.Your text should dominate.
  • To integrate your quotations and avoid “quote bombs” consider the following techniques:
    • INTRODUCE THE QUOTATION: Help set up that someone else is speaking and what the context is for what they have to say

      • In the article “ABC,” x argues that “quote” (in-text citation).
      • Though I have said y, x claims “quote” (in-text citation).
      • Yet, in her book LMNOP, x maintains “quote” (in-text citation).
      • X complicates the matter when he writes, “quote” (in-text citation).
    • IDENTIFY THE SPEAKER: Help show who is speaking and why it is important they speak or what credentials they bring that add credibility
      • X who wrote the recent “Abcd” is convinced that “quote” (in-text citation).
      • X, writer of the famed biography about W, suggests “quote” (in-text citation).
      • As the prominent philosopher X puts it “quote” (in-text citation).
    • INTERPRET THE INFORMATION: Help readers understand the evidence
      • In other words, x believes . . .
      • X is insisting that. . .
      • Clearly, x is making the point that. . .
      • The essence of x’s argument is . . .
    • INVESTIGATE THE CONTENT: Help readers get deeper in the evidence and focus in on what’s important
      • X’s claim that “abcdefg” is mistaken because. . .
      • By focusing on “qr,” x overlooks the fact that. . .
    • INCORPORATE QUOTATION INTO YOUR ARGUMENT: Help bring it back to your argument/ideas
      • X’s claim is just one more example of . . .
      • X helps prove, then, that . . .
      • Such an understanding only demonstrates further . . .
    • INTRODUCE AND IDENTIFY:
      • According to Dr. W, the most prominent writer about Y, the Z of ABC is “efgh” (in-text citation).
    • INTERPRET AND INVESTIGATE:
      • Basically, W is saying paraphrased efgh (in-text citation). W’s view that “ef” is important because. . ..
    • INCORPORATE:
      • Furthermore, by focusing on “gh” W confirms my claim that. . .

What are MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian Styles?

Style, or documentation, refers to the method you use to cite your sources when writing a research-based paper. The three most common academic styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian. All links in this section are courtesy of Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

This appendix is a quick reference to these documentation styles with a few Internet links. It is not meant to be comprehensive. Ask your instructor which style to use, and use the style guide(s) your instructor recommends. If you have any questions about citing sources, always ask your instructor!

 

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

MLA is used when writing in humanities classes (composition, literature, music, theatre, etc.). It uses in-text citations with the author’s name and a page number.

Links courtesy of Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format

Sample MLA Paper Click the link to download a pdf file

 

American Psychological Association (APA) Style

APA is used for writing in the social sciences, such as psychology. It uses in-text citations with the author’s name and the year.

Links courtesy of Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Using American Psychological Association (APA) Format

Sample APA Paper Click the link to download a pdf file

 

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chicago/Turabian is used when writing in history. It uses footnotes (on the bottom of the page) or end notes (at the end of the paper). Ask your instructor which method to use.

Links courtesy of Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Using Chicago/Turabian Format

Sample Chicago Paper Click the link to download a pdf file


Comparing Key Features of APA and MLA

MLA vs APA pdf from Appalachian State University

Introduction to APA video courtesy of faculty member Janelle Wiess who created this video for her ENG 112 students

Introduction to MLA video Kyle Stedman of Rockford University

 


Keys to MLA Works Cited: Documenting Sources at the End of the Essay

A Works Cited page (and IT IS ALWAYS CALLED WORKS CITED EVEN IF IT LISTS ONLY ONE SOURCE) lists all the sources that you use in a given piece of writing.  The Works Cited page should start on the page after your text ends (at the end of your text, add a PAGE BREAK and begin your Works Cited).  The Works Cited page should appear with the words Works Cited CENTERED at the top of the page. Items should be listed in ALPHABETICAL ORDER BASED ON WHATEVER NAME OR WORD IS AT THE START OF YOUR PROPERLY FORMATTED WORKS CITED ENTRY. The Works Cited page should be formatted DOUBLE SPACE using a HANGING INDENT (so that the start of each entry is flush with the left margin but the subsequent lines of a given entry are indented--like a reverse paragraph tab).

  • To build a Works Cited page and to build in-text citations (brief acknowledgements of a source within your text--SEE KEYS TO MLA IN-TEXT CITATIONS), you need to create a WORKS CITED ENTRY for each source used. A Works Cited entry helps other readers understand exactly what source you used and provide enough information for another person to find the source.  
  • Works Cited entries follow a standard format.  MLA uses one TEMPLATE to help you build Works Cited entries for any source (insert link to template). People who expect MLA Style are familiar with the template and expect to see entries properly formatted using the template.  

  • Even though the new MLA formatting uses a standard template for creating a citation, understanding what specific type of source you are citing (book, magazine, online article, etc.) can be helpful as it may help you determine which type of information the template will require.  For example, journal articles typically use a volume and issue number for the “number” line on the template.
  • The PARTS of the template are important, but so is the PUNCTUATION. The template parts and punctuation signal things to those familiar with MLA Style about specifics of your source.  
  • SOME FORMATTING HINTS:
    • It is important to look at the template (called a "container") to see if a period of a comma follows a particular part of the formula and to remember that THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A PERIOD AFTER THE FINAL ITEM IN THE TEMPLATE. 
    • You may find that you do not have or need information for an item in the template.  If that is the case, just skip the item.  The point is to make sure that there are enough parts of the template in the Works Cited entry so that your source could be easily identified and located.  
    • Note that in citing sources you will put the last name (LN) of the author first followed by a comma and then the first name (FN), so LN, FN.  If there are two authors, only the first author is listed by last name first: LN, FN and FN LN.
    • "Article Titles" are put in quotation marks while Book or Magazine Titles are italicized.  The idea is that a "Smaller Thing" is part of a Bigger Thing. 
    • MLA style uses TITLE CASE which means that You Capitalize All Main Words of the Title, regardless of how the title is capitalized in the source.

Keys to MLA In-Text Citations: Documenting Sources Within An Essay
  • In-text citations are indicators placed in parentheses inside your essay signaling every place you have quoted, summarized, paraphrased or otherwise used outside source material in your writing. 
  • Each time you quote, paraphrase, summarize or use a source you must indicate so at the end of the sentence.You do so by putting the citation information in parenthesis BEFORE THE PERIOD.
  • So you don’t clutter your text, you only need to put in parenthesis enough information so that it is evident what source from your Works Cited you have used.In-text citations are quick notations that link to the Works Cited.
  • Generally, the in-text citation will include the last name of the author of the source you are using (or the first word of an entry if author is unknown) and the page number on which the information you are using can be found: (Roach 12) or (“MLA” 4).
    • Note that using the author’s last name means that a reader could immediately find out more about that source by looking at your Works Cited where the source would be listed by the author’s last name.
    • If you have used the author’s name in your sentence—just list the page number: (12).
    • If your source does not list its author and is therefore not listed by the author’s last name in your Works Cited, use the first word of the Works Cited entry in your in-text citation: (“Style” 12).
    • If a source has two authors, include both authors’ names in the in-text citation (Roach and Anderson 12).
    • If a source has more than two authors, use the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” (a Latin abbreviation meaning “and others”); be sure to include the period after the second word (Roach et al. 12).
    • Because web pages don’t have fixed page numbers, you won't include a page number in the parenthetical citation.  However, when a web page you are citing has explicitly numbered paragraphs, use the paragraph number to identify a specific location.  Put the abbreviation “par.” for paragraph or “pars.” for paragraphs between the author’s name and paragraph number, and a comma immediately after the name or title: (Harris, par. 5) or (Victorian, pars. 2-3).  The section or chapter number can also be used (when available) to identify a specific location: (Roth sec. 6) or Roth, ch.1) . In audio and video recordings, you should cite the relevant time (00:03:16-17).
    • Some e-readers don’t show page numbers but do show locations. In this case use “Loc.” for location and followed by the location number shown on your e-reader. For example, a citation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula read on a Kindle would look like this (Stoker Loc. 5512).
    • If you find an article in pdf format, cite the article page numbers as you would any other article (Roach 12). If you use an article in html format, cite it as you would any other web page, using the paragraph number (Harris, par. 5).
    • If there are multiple works by the same author, you need to help the reader determine which one you are citing by using both the author’s name, a comma, and a word from the appropriate title: (Roach, “MLA” 5).
    • The idea is that the in-text citation is a quick index to the additional information a reader could find in your Works Cited. Your in-text citation should send the reader directly to one Works Cited entry.
    • With the page number a reader looking at one of your sources could easily find the exact portion of the source you used in your essay (particularly important if you were using one page of a 600 page book). Keep track of the exact page you are quoting from or referring to. Making up page numbers is a form of academic misconduct.
  • If you are borrowing from the same source in succession in the same paragraph, and no other source is used, you may give a full in-text citation after the last time you use the source. However, be careful. Avoid this technique if it creates any confusion about what source you use when. Make sure it is clear when you start and stop using the source. Introducing a source when you begin using it (such as by noting a name or publication title) is often essential for clarity.  See pages 124-126 in the MLA Handbook for more examples on how to handle repeated use of a source.

 


Sample Citations in MLA Format

This section includes examples of some of the most commonly used sources. For more info about citing sources visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) MLA Formatting and Style Guide.

The examples below have been comiled in the pdf file Sample Works Cited.

Book
Book (Work in Anthology)
Ebook on Ereader
Ebook on Thompson Library Web Site
Journal Article (Library Database)
Journal Article (Online)
Journal Article (Print)
Web Article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Citing Sources: APA Style
Keys to APA References: Documenting Sources at the End of the Essay

Reference List: Basic Rules Click the link to go this info at Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL)

 


Keys to APA In-Text Citation: Documenting Sources within an Essay
  • In-text citations are indicators placed in parentheses inside your essay signaling every place you have quoted, summarized, paraphrased or otherwise used outside source material in your writing.
  • Each time you quote, paraphrase, summarize or use a source you must indicate so by the end of the sentence. This is generally done by including the required citation information in parentheses at the end of the sentence.
  • In-text citations are quick notations that link to the reference page. To avoid cluttering your text, only include the required information.

Generally, the in-text citation will include

    • The author’s last name (or the first word of the title if the author is unknown)
    • The year of publication
    • A page or paragraph (required for direct quotes, recommended otherwise)

EXAMPLES:

(Roach, 2017, p. 12)   OR  (“MLA,” 2016)

      

Why is this information required?

    • Using the author’s last name means the reader can immediately find out more about the source by looking at the reference page, where the entry is listed by the author’s last name.
    • The year of publication is important in APA, which is used in disciplines in which currency is very important.
    • The page or paragraph number helps the reader locate the particular entry within a text if they would like to read more of its context.

 

Formatting

 Any citation information you use in the sentence DOES NOT have to be repeated in parentheses:

According to Roach (2017),………..(p. 12).

This means that if you have used the author’s name and year of publication in your sentence, just list the page number in the parenthesis at the end of the sentence before the period, if required.

 

What to do when...

  • There are multiple authors.

If the source has two authors, list them both separated by an ampersand within parentheses and with an and in the sentence:

(Roach & Merit, 2017) or According to Roach and Merit (2017).

 

If the source has three to five authors, identify them all upon first use. In subsequent citations, use the first author’s name followed by et al:

(Harper, Findlen, Ibori, & Wenz 2017)   vs. ( Harper et al., 2013).

 

If the source has six or more authors, use the first author’s name follow by et al.
 

  • There aren’t page numbers

A page or paragraph number is required for direct quotations (when using the work word-for-word).  If the material does not have page numbers, you can count paragraphs and provide a paragraph number or provide a heading plus paragraph number within that section.

         Use p. for a single page

         Use pp. for multiple pages

         Use par. for a paragraph number
 

  • Using an E-reader

Many E-readers now have real page numbers that correspond to the print editions (such as Kindle third generation and forward). These real page numbers are appropriate and can be used in academic citation. Do not use location numbers, however, and instead use a paragraph number (counted from beginning of document) or a heading and a paragraph number counted from the heading.
 

  • There are multiple works by the same author

Make sure you determine which source is used when. This could be clear if the date of publication is different. If the name and year are the same, use lowercase letters (“a,” ‘b”) with the year to order the entries:

         (Minneion, 2014b)

If there are two authors who have the same last name, simply provide a first initial for each:

 L. Smith (2016)                         R. Smith (2018)

 

  • There is no author listed

Use a short version of the title of the source in a phrase or in parentheses

        (“Obligations,” 2013).
 

  • Multiple sources are used in one sentence

Put the citations in the same order in which they are used in the reference list, separated by a semicolon:

         (Armid, 2017; Sable 2018).
 

  • Source is used multiple times in a paragraph

If you are borrowing from the same source repeatedly in a paragraph, and no other source is used, you can give a full in-text citation after the last time you use the course in the paragraph.  However, to avoid any confusion, make sure it is clear when you start and stop using the source. This can be done by introducing a source upon first use (such as by noting a name or publication title) and also by using signal phrases throughout the paragraph (such as according to so-and-o, so and so also notes, etc).

 


Sample citations in APA format

This section includes examples of some of the most commonly used sources. For more info about citing sources visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) APA Formatting and Style Guide.

The examples below have been comiled in the pdf file sample References page.

 

Book

Author: Last name + initial(s).   Anderson C.

(Publication year).  (2006).

Title of book.  The long tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more.

Place of publication: 

Publisher.  Hyperion.

References Entry

Hint: List up to seven authors by last names followed by initials and use an ampersand (&) before the name of the final author. For 8 or more authors, list the first six authors followed by three ellipses dots and the author’s last name.: Anderson, C., Smith, B., Clara, C., Demiron, D., Atkinson L., Serrao, B., . . . Heinrich. B.

Hint: On the references page, all author’s names are inverted. Separate all author’s names with commas.

 

In-Text Citation

(Anderson, 2006, p. 27)

Hint: include the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number.

Hint: If there are two authors, cite both names joined by an ampersand (Anderson & Smith, 2006, p. 27).

Hint: If there are six or more authors, use the first name followed by “et al.” in the signal phrase or in parentheses (Anderson et al, 2006, p. 27).

 

Book (Work in an Anthology)

Author: Last name + initial(s).   White, E.B.

(Publication year).  (2012).

Title of Selection. Once more to the lake

Editors for anthology followed by (Eds.),  In S. V. Buscemi,  & C. Smith (Eds.),

Title of book/anthology.  75 readings: An anthology.

(Edition).  (12th ed.).

(page numbers of selection).  (pp. 42-48).

Place of publication: 

Publisher.  McGraw-Hill.

References Entry

Hint: Names of editors are not inverted but first names are still abbreviated. With two or more authors, use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name. Separate the names with a comma.

Hint: Italicize the titles and subtitles of books, journals, and other long works but do not use italics or quotation marks for the titles of articles.

Hint: For books and articles, capitalize only the first word of the titles and subtitles and all proper nouns: 75 readings: An anthology.

 

In-Text Citation

(White, 2012, p. 42).

Hint: The initials of the first name of authors are omitted in in-text citations.

 

eBook (on eReader)

Author: Last name + initial(s).   Ellis, B.

(Publication year).  (2002).

Title of book.  The long tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more.

[Version]. [Kindle version].

References Entry

Hint: Cite online sources as you would other sources; provide the author and the year whenever available.

Hint: Please note that the DOI/URL is used in place of publisher information.

 

In-text Citation

(Ellis, 2002)

 

eBook (on Library Web Site)

Author: Last name + initial(s).   Ellis, B.

(Publication year).  (2002).

Title of book.  The long tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more.

[Version]. [Kindle version].

URL or DOI.   Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.libproxy.umflint.edu/lib/umich/detail.action?docI....

References Entry

 

In-Text Citation

(Ellis, 2002).

Hint: If a page number is not available, you may include paragraph numbers or headings to help your readers locate the passage.

 

Journal Article (Library Database)

Author. Sacher, C. L.

(Publication year).  (2016).

Title and subtitle of article.  The writing crisis and how to address it through developmental writing classes.

Name of periodical, Research & Teaching in Developmental Education,

Volume number; issue number if required32 (2),

Page number(s).  46-61.

DOI or URL. Retried from https://link-galegroup-com.libproxy.umflint.edu/apps/doc/A455286117/AONE...

References Entry

Hint: For page numbers in journals, don’t use pp. or p.

Hint: Italicize the volume number and put the issue number, not italicized, in parentheses.

Hint: A digital object identifier (DOI) is preferred to a URL, when available. A DOI is a persistent, unique link assigned to a published work on the Internet. It is considered more stable than a URL.

 

In-text Citation

According to Sacher, writing can do great things (2016, p. 46).

Hint: Using a PDF version from the library can help you find stable page numbers.

Hint: Retrieval dates are only necessary for a web source if the content is likely to change.

 

Journal Article (Online)

Author. Ezza, E., & Al-Mudibry K.

(Publication year).  (2014).

Title and subtitle of article.  A critical review of EFL writing syllabus at tertiary level in the Arab world.

Name of periodical,  International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature,

Volume number  (issue number if required),  3(6),

DOI or URL   Retrieved from doi:10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.3n.6p.80

References Entry

Hint:  There is no final period at end of a URL or a DOI.

 

In-text Citation

(Ezza & Al-Mudibry, 2014)

Hint: Page numbers are required for direct quotations and encouraged for paraphrases.

Hint: An ampersand is used to connect names in parentheses but an and should be used for signal phrases in the text (According to Ezza and Mudibry (2014), ).

 

Journal Article (Print Version)

Author. Lee, J.

(Publication year).  (2016).

Title and subtitle of article.  Beyond translingual writing.

Name of periodical,  College English,

Volume number  (issue number if required),  79(2),

Page(s). 174-195.

References Entry

 

In-text Citation

(Lee, 2016, p. 174).

 

Web Article

Author. Young, M.

(Publication year).  (2017, May 12).

Title and subtitle of article.  Watery skies of ‘warm Neptune' hint at planet’s formation.

Name of publication, such as website or magazine,  Sky and Telescope,

DOI or URL   Retrieved from www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/water-skies-warm-neptune-planet-f...

References Entry


 

In-text Entry

(Young, 2017, para. 1)

Hint: Even if this is an online piece, a page or paragraph number is required for direct quotations (when using the work word-for-word).  If the material does not have page numbers, you can count paragraphs and provide a paragraph number or provide a heading plus paragraph number within that section.