Skip to main content

Citing Resources APA, MLA & Avoiding Plagiarism: Getting Started

Links to APA, MLA and Chicago style citation guides and citation makers. Also includes the plagiarism tutorial.

Why do you use citations?

Shows your work. 

Your readers can track down the same sources you used for further exploration.

Your instructors see that you have met their research requirements.

Give credit where credit is due. 

It shows that you are an ethical user of information and acknowledging the work of others. This means not just text, but also images or other creative forms of information.

Avoid plagiarism.  Plagiarism is stealing and passing off the ideas or words of another person's as your own.  

Citations are how you acknowledge where you have found ideas and information you have used in your project and thereby are respecting intellectual property.  

Plagiarism can be deliberate (you intended to pass off another's persons work as your own), inadvertent (sloppy work - you mistakenly forgot to include citation) or ignorant (you did not understand what is expected re citations). 
*Santos, Carlos, and Reed Williams. "Critics ask if U.Va. was too harsh on students." Richmond Times-Dispatch, 13 Aug. 2008. Richmond Times-Dispatch, Accessed 1 Mar. 2017.


CMST101 - Edlin Marlowe

ACTIVITY: Individually or you may work with up to two classmates, create a properly formatted Works Cited or References page for these resources.

You may use the citation generator, NoodleTools Express

Getting Started: citation entry

1.   Choose a citation format. (ex. MLA, APA, Chicago....)

2.   How are you accessing the information?

  • PRINT (are you holding the original item in your hand)

  • WEB (you are using the internet to get to the resource)

  • DATABASE (you are using a library database that may have required a password)

3.   Identify what type of source you have.

  • Book                       • Magazine                  • Newspaper                 • Journal
  • Website article      • Video                         • Audio                           • Image

  • ‚ÄčArtwork                   • Interview                   • etc.... 

4.   Find the citation formula that matches your format and source type. (ex.  Print book or Website Newspaper article)

5.   Identify the information you need for the formula.

Common information found in many citations:  

  • Author / Creator                         • Article title                                     • Title of the whole resource

  • Publication date                        • Publisher / Sponsor 

  • Pages numbers                        • URL / web address

6.   Plug information into the formula.  This requires attention to details.  Be precise.

7.   Double check your work.


Citation Creation Practice

Citation Game Homepage: APA and MLA Citations


Citation Workshop: Winter 2018

ACTIVITY: Create either a MLA Works Cited Page or an APA References Page for the following resources.

Work Cited Pages: Create your Works Cited pages using the Google docs below, by group. 

Why are citations so specific?

Consistency makes it easier for readers to understand where you found your research.

Think of it like addressing an envelope.  Everyone follows the same format when addressing an envelope because it makes it easier for people to deliver it properly.


Identifies the exact source in the specific format you (the researcher) saw it.

Sources can change slightly (or dramatically) anytime it is republished. Readers want to know exactly which version the writer used. 

Research Help

Contact Options

Our professional librarians are available to help you with using any of the library's electronic resources. Please contact us if you require assistance.

In Person
SFCC, building 2.
By Email
By Phone
509.533.3834 or 1.800.251.1972
By Chat
Ask Us 24/7!