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Copyright: Citing Sources

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Want to know about the APA changes made in the 7th edition? 



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The following websites explain paraphrasing and summarizing. These sites include examples of proper ways to paraphrase.

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Why Cite


Plagiarism is defined as the act of copying, stealing, or representing the ideas or words of another as one's own, without giving credit to the source.

To avoid committing plagiarism, cite all of your sources properly according to the rules of the specific citation styles your professors require.  Three of the most commonly used citation styles are:

  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Why You Should Cite Your Sources:

  • To give credit where credit is due
  • To give credibility to your research
  • To enable your readers (professors and peers) to retrace your research steps
  • To practice academic honesty and integrity 

What Needs to be Cited?

Direct Quotes
Ideas not your own (Paraphrasing an idea)


Do You Need to Cite Everything?

No.  If something is common knowledge (it can be found in many different sources and is a well known fact) it does not need to be cited.  The following are common examples of common knowledge:

  • Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  • George Washington was the first President of the United States


In an annotated bibliography each citation is followed by a brief note (or annotation) that describes and evaluates the source.

A Bibliography is a list of citations that appears at the end of a paper. It is referred to as a "works cited" list in MLA and a list of "references" in APA.

A citation provides all the information a person needs to locate a particular source. Basic citation information for a journal article consists of author or editor name, title of article, title of journal, volume and issue number and the date.

The citation style dicatates how the information will be formatted.

In-text citations provide enough information to correspond to the works cited or reference list. It generally requires the page number to show exactly where the information is located.

A paraphrase is a rewording of another writer's text, explanation, argument, or narrative.

A Reference list is a citation lists of works referenced in the papes in APA format.

Condensing another person’s words so that you present the basics of what has been said.

A works cited list is a citation lists of works referenced in the paper in MLA format.

Websites about Citations

Purdue OWL Quick Reference Posters

  • APA Quick Reference
    Quick reference poster with basic APA guidelines (based on 6th edition). The Purdue OWL APA Classroom Poster was developed by Kate Bouwens for the Purdue Professional Writing - Purdue OWL Internship class, English 490, in spring 2009.
  • Chicago Quick Reference
    Quick reference poster with basic CMS guidelines. The Purdue OWL CMS NB Classroom Poster was developed by Megan Lancaster for the Purdue Professional Writing - Editing and Publishing class, English 515, in spring 2011.

Citation Resource Websites:


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Citation Creation Tools

There are several tools available to assist you in creating your works cited or reference list. Keep in mind that most of these tools you must input the information using the proper capitalization rules.


Use NoodleTools to create your References or Works Cited page in APA, MLA or Chicago / Turabian format.

NoodleTools Student Login

NoodleTools Faculty/Staff Login


Refer to the following help guides for additional information

How to access NoodleTools through Google Apps


Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has a citation generator located under the "References" tab.

For help in using this feature for the 2013/2016 versions, read the Microsoft Article here.

For help in using this feature for the 2007/2010 versions, read the Microsoft Article here.

Free Citation Tools

The following tools are free to use, but you need to sign up and create an account for each.

Zotero (APA, MLA, Chicago, plus many more)

EndNote WEB (APA, MLA, Chicago, plus many more) Free version

  • Cloud-based tool EndNote WEB.


Subject Guide

Dan Murphy's picture
Dan Murphy
Callahan Library
25 Audubon Ave.
Patchogue, NY 11772
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