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Citation Creation  

Instructs students on formatting an MLA 8 style research paper and MLA 8 citations.
Last Updated: Jan 2, 2018 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Why Cite?

It is important to cite when borrowing the ideas and thoughts of others for several reasons. Citing sources

  • builds credibility in your work by showing you are not alone in your opinions;
  • gives you a chance to show that you have thought about and investigated your topic;
  • gives your reader the information he or she needs to verify your source or to find more information on the subject; and
  • allows you to give credit where credit is due.

Please note that not citing your sources is academically dishonest and may lead to charges of plagiarism.

Citing Your Sources." Texas A&M University-University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2014.


What is a citation?

What Is a Citation?

A citation is a reference that allows you to acknowledge the  sources* you use in a formal academic paper, and enables a reader to  locate those sources through the key information it provides.

Citations are placed both in the text and in an organized list at the end of the text.

*Source material might come from books, journal articles, speeches,  websites, on-line articles, films, government publications, legal  proceedings, maps, and so on.


When Do I Have to Cite?

1) If you quote an author, even if you are only borrowing a single  key word, you must tell your reader where you found the information.  Using an author's words exactly as they appear on the page, then, is a  direct quotation that always requires a citation.

2) You also must cite a source   

  • if you restate an idea, thesis, or opinion given by an author,
  • if you restate an expert's theory or opinion,
  • if you use facts that are not common knowledge, or
  • if you need to provide an informational or explanatory note.

These restatements of an author's words, thoughts, or ideas will take the form of either

  • a summary, or
  • a paraphrase (or indirect quotation).

Citing Your Sources." Texas A&M University-University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2014.


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