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ENG 102: Citing Your Sources

Literary Criticism

Citation Tools

 

You can create your own MLA and APA formated citations by consulting your class textbook or reviewing the information at the OWL at Purdue.

 

 

A Few Free Resources

Please keep in mind that the following tools are not perfect. It is highly recommended that you verify the accuracy of any citations produced by these tools using the citation style's official manual.

  • BibMe
    BibMe is a free citation generator developed at Carnegie Mellon University that produces citations and bibliographies in APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian styles. It has some features not found in other free citation generators, such as autofill and the ability to switch between citation styles.
     
  • Citation Machine
    Citation Machine is a free site that automatically produces MLA, APA, Turabian or Chicago style citations for a variety of sources (but not bibliographies). Users can copy and paste citations into Word. It was developed by David Warlick, an educator.
  • EasyBib
    EasyBib is a free site where you can create a works cited list and parenthetical (in-text) citations.  In many cases, EasyBib can create a citation automatically (autocite) if it recognizes the book, website, journal article etc., that you are citing. 
  • KnightCite
    KnightCite is a free site that automatically produce MLA, APA, or Chicago style citations for 25 types of sources.
    From the Hekman Library at Calvin College.
  • Zotero
    Zotero is a free, open source utility that works in the Firefox browser to help users collect, manage and cite sources. It was developed at George Mason University. Highly recommended.

Plagiarism

Many students have heard the classic definition, that it's using someone else's work without citing the source. Plagiarism can take other forms, however, including:

  • Re-arranging an author's words (paraphrasing) and using it without a citation

  • Using someone else's ideas without citing the source

  • Using a photograph or image and not including a citation

  • Submitting the same paper for two different assignments

What IS a citation?

A citation....

  • describes a book, journal article, website, or other published item
  • gives credit to the originator of an idea, thus preventing plagiarism
  • enables the reader to retrieve the item you refer to
  • includes the author, title, source (publisher and place of publication or URL), and date


Online documents make it very easy to cut and paste information without thinking and without giving proper credit. Make sure you understand how to cite your sources.

Citing Your Sources

"The purpose of a research paper is to synthesize previous research and scholarship with your ideas on the subject. Therefore, you should feel free to use other persons' words, facts, and thoughts in your research paper, but the material you borrow must not be presented as if it were your own creation."

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Edition. New York: MLA. 55. Print.

Why do you need to cite the sources you use for your papers?*

1.     Your professors expect you to read about the research of others, and to bring together their ideas in such a way that makes sense to you and will make sense to your readers.  Therefore, it's essential for you to cite your sources in any research paper you write. The academic reasons for doing so are to give credit to those who have done the original research and written the article or book, and to allow readers (your professors) to look at them if needed to find out if you have properly understood what the author was trying to say.

2.    On a practical level, citing your sources is a way to show that you've done the assignment. If your paper contains no citations, the implication is that you have done a piece of original research, but that probably was not the assignment. Citations (along with the bibliography) show that you have consulted a variety of resources as the assignment required. They're also an acknowledgement of your indebtedness to those authors.

3.    So don't feel you need to hide the fact that you're drawing from one of your sources. That's what it's all about.

*Adapted from: Taylor, Bill. "A letter to my students." Academic Integrity Seminar.  29 Feb. 2008 <http://www.academicintegrityseminar.com/Teaching/ALetterToMyStudents.html>

There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
  • APA (American Psychological Associastion) is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences
  • Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business and the Fine Arts

You will need to consult with your professor to determine what is required in your specific course.