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Avoiding Plagiarism: Citing Sources

Adapted from NOVA Plagiarism

In-Text Citation v. Works Cited / Reference List

Students often get confused about the two types of citations.

The first type are in-text citations (also called parenthetical citations), which appear throughout your paper at the end of sentences that you are citing.  These usually include the authors, date of publication (APA only) and page number being cited.  The format will differ for APA and MLA.  An example in MLA format:

Ernest Hemingway wrote all of his novels and stories while standing (Grooms 27).

The second type of citation is the works cited (MLA) or reference list (APA).  This is a list of all sources used in your research and appears at the end of your paper.  Examples are provided in the links in the box to the right.

Recommended Resources


  • APA
    American Psychological Association style, most commonly used within the social sciences.
  • MLA
    Modern Language Association style, most commonly used within the liberal arts and humanities.
  • Chicago & Turabian

Tools & Information:


Citation Builders
Students are strongly encouraged to consult a style handbook or trusted web site to ensure that the citations generated by these sites are complete and correct.

  • NoodleBib Express
    Generate citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago style, then copy and paste what you need into your document.

  • KnightCite
    Generate citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago style, then copy and paste what you need into your document.

  • Database Citation Builders
    Many library databases include a citation builder feature that will create a citation for any article/abstract/item you view. Check with your campus library for help with locating & using these features.





Chicago & Turabian

  • Research and Documentation Online- Diana Hacker
    Includes guidelines for documenting print and online sources in Chicago style as well as sample papers with annotations (see "History"). Based on the book Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age, by Diana Hacker.

Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Warning: When You Must Cite
    Cases in which you should ALWAYS CITE, from Yale University Writing Center.

  • Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources
    From the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Writing Center. Includes how to avoid plagiarizing your sources, when and how to paraphrase or quote, and examples of successful vs. unsuccessful paraphrases.

Quick Style Guides

VCCS Guide to APA Style

VCCS Guide to MLA Style