Use notes and citations to acknowledge sources you have used that directly or indirectly are featured in your written work. This allows the readers, including your instructors, to see what kinds of sources have been used (for example, are they reputable, current resources?) and to return to the original material to verify information.
Avoid the serious charge of
PLAGIARISM -- using another person's ideas
or words in your writing without acknowledging the source. Identify every
source, in every format, that you have used for your research whether it
provided you with ideas, facts, opinions, or exact wording. Note that you do
not need to acknowledge information that is considered “common knowledge” even
if you happened to see it in a written source; an example of “common knowledge”
is “Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States”. If you are
not sure whether an item you have seen should be in your “List of Works
Consulted”, err on the side of caution and include it.
Use this guide to help you properly cite the sources you've consulted for research papers and to create a Bibliography / List of Works Consulted and parenthetical references (footnotes).
There are several commonly-used, widely-accepted formats for citing materials used in research, including MLA, APA, and Chicago style. Be aware that your instructor or academic department may favor a specific format; use whichever format is required or recommended. Whichever one you choose should be followed consistently; don’t use one format for books and a different one, for example, for online resources.
In this research guide, all citation formats and examples are in the new MLA style: 7th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2009). For more help with MLA citations and with other citation styles (for example, APA, Chicago), see the tabs for MLA & Other Style Manuals and More Help.
Using this guide: Each type of publication has its own tab above (Books and e-Books, Articles, etc.). On each page there is a basic format box and a box with sample citations. All are in MLA7 format. Some of the sample citations have explanations bulleted below.
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