Writing and Citing Sources

Citing Sources

When you write or research something for your school, and you use anyone else’s thoughts, ideas, words, research, etc., you are required to cite those sources.  You must cite them inside the body of your paper/presentation (called parenthetical citations) as well as in a Works Cited page at the end of your paper/presentation.  You should only use academic sources for the research you do.

It is very important that you not plagiarize anything in your essay.  There is a very simple way to ensure that doesn’t happen, DO NOT COPY AND PASTE ANYTHING INTO YOUR ESSAY!!!!!!  Here is a link to a brief explanation of how to paraphrase instead of plagiarize.

Since you will need to conduct research to find this information, you will need to ensure that you are using academic sources.  An academic source can be a book, an article from a newspaper or academic magazine (not celebrity magazines like People or the others in the supermarket), or websites (.org, .edu, .gov are the best sources for academic information- .com can be used, but you need to be careful to make sure it is a reputable source), or any other academic source.

Whenever you research anything, you will also need to cite your sources.  This means that you will need to include references to your sources BOTH inside your essay as well as a Works Cited page at the end of your essay.  Excelsior uses MLA formatting.  Here is a link to the authority for all things MLA.

Parenthetical Citations:

References to your sources inside of your essay are known as parenthetical citations because they happen in parenthesis.  To accomplish this, simply put the first word(s) of the Works Cited reference in parenthesis at the end of your paragraph before the period.  It might be an author’s name, or the title of the article/webpage.  If you are using a book, the parenthetical citation should also include a page number. Here are a couple of examples of parenthetical citations.

Romantic poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth 263).

We see so many global warming hotspots in North America likely because this region has “more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change…” (“Impact of Global Warming”).

Here are the Works Cited references for the above parenthetical citations.  Notice how the first word(s) of the reference is what is used in the parenthetical citations.  Also notice how these are listed in alphabetical order.

“The Impact of Global Warming in North America.”  Global Warming: Early Signs. 1999.  Web. 23 Mar 2016.

Wordsworth, William.  Lyrical Ballads.  London: Oxford UP, 1967.

Works Cited:

As you complete your research online, keep a record of where you are getting your information (copy and paste the URL from the website for later use) as well as what date you found it.  You will use this information to create your Works Cited page.  Once you have completed all of your research and have used the sources in your essay, you can create your Works Cited page.  There is also a wonderful resource available to you that will create the citations for you.  Here is the link to this website to create your works cited page.  This link takes you to the creation of website citations, but you can change that using the tabs along the top of the page to books, magazines, newspapers, journals, film or online videos, and others.  Please use the list below to help you with this, or feel free to ask your facilitator or workshop teacher.

1). Go to your favorite search engine

2.) Type in what you are trying to research

3.) Use the sites that come up to find information about the topic

4.) Choose your favorite site

5.) Copy the URL address from your favorite site (you can use Ctrl+C to copy or right click and Copy) and the date you accessed the information

6.) Open a new tab using this link for a website, and this link for youtube or other online videos.

7.) Paste the URL address from your favorite site (you can use Ctrl+V or right click and Paste) in the open window that says “Find a website by url or keyword”, and then click on “Search Websites”

8.) The website that you used should come up below that.  If it doesn’t, choose another website to use.  If it does, click on “Select”

9.) The next page will tell you what information they found from the website.  Click on “Final Step”.

10.) Fill in any missing information that you can find from your chosen website.  If there isn’t any additional information available, or after you have filled that in, click “Create Citation”.

11.) Your citation should be on this page.  Copy and paste it into your Works Cited page.

Your facilitator or teacher will be happy to help you with this.  It can be confusing.  We cannot accept a paper/presentation that does not have proper citations.  Please feel free to see your facilitator or teacher for help on this as we want you to understand how to do this and get good grades on your projects and essays.