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All About Citations: Citing Your Sources

This guide explains why you want to cite your sources, what are citation styles, examples of citing in different citation styles, and what help and tools are available for citing sources. It also explains what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

Why to cite?

Citing sources and creating a Bibliography/Works Cited List:

  • ​​​​Gives credit to the author(s)
  • Illustrates your ability to locate & evaluate appropriate sources
  • Provides evidence for the arguments and conclusions in your paper
  • Prevents plagarism and copyright infringement

What are citation styles?

What is MLA Style?  

MLA (Modern Language Association) style specifies guidelines for formatting papers. MLA style also provides a system for referencing sources through parenthetical citation in essays and Works Cited pages. Most importantly, the use of MLA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of material by other authors.

What is APA Style?  

APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is commonly used to cite sources in psychology, education, and the social sciences. Most importantly, the use of APA style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of material by other authors.

What is Chicago Style?

The Chicago Manual of Style sets the standard for scholarly publishing in the Humanities. Chicago offers two citation formats, the author-date reference format and the standard bibliographic format, each of which provides conventions for organizing footnotes or endnotes, as well as bibliographic citations. Most importantly, the use of Chicago style can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the purposeful or accidental uncredited use of material by other authors.

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What is plagiarism?

What is Plagiarism? pla·gia·rism (noun)

"Although it exists in many forms, all plagiarism refers to the same act: representing somebody else’s words or ideas as one’s own. The most extreme forms of plagiarism are the use of material authored by another person or obtained from a commercial source, or the use of passages copied word for word without acknowledgment. Paraphrasing an author’s idea or quoting even limited portions of his or her text without proper citation is also an act of plagiarism. Even putting someone else’s ideas into one’s own words without acknowledgment may be plagiarism." (2016-17 Mt. San Antonio College Catalog; p. 398)        

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional

How to avoid plagiarism?

What are the consequences of cheating/plagiarism?

Student Academic Honesty

Honesty is primarily the responsibility of each student. The College considers cheating to be a voluntary act for which there may be reason, but for which there is no acceptable excuse.

In none of its forms can plagiarism be tolerated in an academic community. It may constitute grounds for a failing grade, probation, suspension, or expulsion. (2016-17 Mt. San Antonio College Catalog; p. 398)    

Need help with citations right away?

What are some tools to help with citations?