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Citations & Avoiding Plagiarism

How to cite sources using MLA, APA or Chicago. Also has resources for understanding and avoiding plagiarism.

1st: Choose a citation style.

ex. MLA, APA or Chicago


2nd: Identify what type of resource you are citing.

ex. book, magazine, newspaper, interview, online video, email, blog, etc. 
TIP If you are not sure what type of resource you are using Google the title or ask the librarian.


3rd: How did you access the resource?

  • free web  (ex. you found the resource using Google/Bing etc)
  • library database  (ex. you logged in with a username/password)
  • in print, real life (ex. you held the item in your hand / saw in real life)

4th: Find the appropriate formula using the criteria above.

ex. MLA - Journal Article in a Library Database
ex. APA - Book in Print
ex. Chicago - Image on a Website

5th: Creating the citation.


Citation Generators: APA


TIPCitation generators are only as good as you are. 

TIPDouble-check citations created in citation generators to make sure they are correct and aren't missing information.

  • Use the correct template for your source and access point. (ex. article on a website vs. news article from a database)
  • Input all the necessary components.
  • Doublecheck that the generated citation has the key components (​ex. author listed? date listed? correct titles?)

How to Use MyBib (YouTube video)

MyBib: Adding Library Database Citations

NoodleTools Express

Citation Formulas: APA

6th: Formatting the Works Cited Page

Creating an APA7th ed. Style Reference Guide (PDF from APA Style)

Reference List

Sources cited in your paper must appear on a reference list. This page should meet the following guidelines:


  • A reference list appears as a separate page at the end of your paper.

  • Title the page "References" and center the title at the top of the page.

  • Each source cited in your paper should be represented in your reference list.

  • Double space the entries. Do not add extra spaces between entries.


  • Write out the last name and initials for each author of a given work up to 20 authors. 


  • Use sentence capitalization. This means capitalize the first word and any proper nouns.

ex. How to succeed in business without really trying: Broadway and beyond


  • Italicize publication titles, but not article titles.


  • A reference list should be arranged in alphabetical order according to the first authors' last name.

  • Entries without authors should be arranged alphabetically by title within the reference list.


  • Hanging Indent: The first line of a citation is flush on the left margin and each subsequent line indented one-half inch (one tab)


a sample references page in APA 7th style

from Morling College