When writing a research paper, if you use the exact words or original ideas of another person, you need to document, or give credit to, the sources of these words or ideas.
If you use the words from the original source verbatim, then quotation marks are necessary. If you paraphrase, or restate, the idea in your own words, quotation marks are not required, but documentation of the source is still required.
In the Modern Language Association (MLA) format, you briefly identify your sources in the text of your paper, then provide the full information in the Works Cited list at the end of the paper.
First we will briefly explain how to document quotations and paraphrasing, followed by how to create the Works Cited list.
The general rule is to briefly cite the source directly in the text of your paper. If the reader wants more information, they can consult the Works Cited list at the end of your paper.
If the author’s name is mentioned in your writing (this is called a “signal phrase”), you only need to put the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The reader can then consult the Works Cited list at the end of the paper to get the complete citation.
Note: Some sources, especially those on the Web, do not give page numbers. The general rule is to give a section number if it is given, which is rare; otherwise, just use the author’s name. If no author is given, use the first words of the title.
As Ta-Nehisi Coates explains, “At Howard University, one of the greatest collections of books could be found in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Moorland held archives, papers, collections, and virtually any book ever written by or about black people” (47).
According to Jamaica Kincaid in The Autobiography of My Mother, there is an alienation from an island culture that has been completely dominated by the imperialistic power of England (7).
You may decide not to mention the source of your information in the text of your paper. In these instances, enclose both the author’s last name and page referred to in parentheses at the end of the sentence. The reader can then consult the Works Cited list at the end of the paper to get the complete citation.
According to one study of climate change, the “speed of warming is more than ten times that at the end of an ice age, the fastest known natural sustained change on a global scale” (National Academy 9).
In an article on the benefits of video games and flow state, it is argued that when players work together collaboratively, they can improve their results in the game, while also completing all required learning outcomes (Vras 117-118).
For publications with no author given, you should include the first one to two keywords from the title and the page number in parentheses.
“The stabilization of relations among Comanches, immigrant tribes, and Osages also made possible a restoration of direct commercial ties between eastern Comanches and Americans” (“The Comanche Trail” 60).
DO I HAVE TO DOCUMENT EVERYTHING?
One of the hardest parts of documentation is to decide how far to go in documenting your sources. If you mention that the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001, do you have to show where that information came from? No. This is considered common knowledge, even if you didn’t know on your own.
This can get tricky. When in doubt, it is probably a good idea to include the documentation. Ask a faculty librarian or your instructor for advice on specific situations. We are here to assist you!
The general rules for Works Cited entries are:
When required information is not given -- In the spot where the information should be, simply leave the information out.
A second work by the same author--Instead of repeating the author's name in the Works Cited list, for the second entry put three hyphens and a period (---.) and alphabetize as if the name were spelled out.
There are many variations. Please see the following examples for print, video, and online sources:
ONLINE SOURCES FROM ACC LIBRARY DATABASES OR EBOOKS
|Full-text Magazine Article from an Online Library Database||
Dobbins, Thomas A. “A Mystery in Saturn’s C Ring.” Sky & Telescope, vol. 140, no. 1, July 2020, pp. 52-53. Academic Search Complete in EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=a9h&AN=143067344&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=austin/
|Scholarly Journal Article from an Online Library Database||
Lyons, Lenore. “Disrupting the Centre: Interrogating an ‘Asian Feminist’ Identity.” Communal / Plural: Journal of Transnational & Crosscultural Studies, vol. 26, no. 1, Apr. 2000, pp. 66-68, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=a9h&AN=3972719&site=eds-live&scope=site&custid=austin.
|Newspaper Article from an Online Database||
Soloski, Alexis. “The Time Has Come to Play Othello.” The New York Times, 20 Nov. 2016, Arts and Leisure sec., p. 5, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=edsgov&AN=edsgcl.470751464&site=eds-live&scope=site&custid=austin.
O’Connor, Patricia. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. Riverhead Books, 2009, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=nlebk&AN=1841568&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=austin.
|Encyclopedia Entry from an Online Database||
May, F. H., and V. V. Levasheff. “Boron.” AccessScience, McGraw-Hill Education, Oct. 2019, go.openathens.net/redirector/austincc.edu?url=https://www.accessscience.com/content/boron/091900.
|Work Reprinted in a Collection from Online Database||
Butler, Octavia E. "Going to See the Woman: A Visit with Octavia E. Butler." Short Story Criticism, edited by Catherine C. DiMercurio, vol. 266, Gale, 2019, pp. 12-22. Gale Literature Criticism, link.gale.com/apps/doc/ZPSYZS835132275/LCO?u=txshracd2487&sid=bookmark-LCO&xid=2ea68fee. Accessed 2 Sept. 2021. Originally published in Obsidian III, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 14-39.
Wassenich, Red. Minimum Opus: Short Stories. Smashwords, 2020.
|Print Book with Two Authors or Editors||
Wassenich, Red, and Karen Pavelka. Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town. Schiffer Publishing, 2007.
|Print Book with More Than Two Authors||
Charon, Rita, et al. The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine. Oxford UP, 2017.
|Print Book with Editor(s)||
Baron, Sabrina Alcorn, et al., editors. Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Einstein. U of Massachusetts P / Library of Congress, Center for the Book, 2007.
Milton, John. The Riverside Milton.
|Book Chapter or Part of a Book||
Miranda, Lin-Manuel. “Merengue: Carnaval del Barrio.” Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, edited by Ilan Stavans, et al., W.W. Norton & Co., 2011, pp. 2473-2481.
|Print Magazine Article with an Author||
Deresiewicz, William. “The Death of the Artist - and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur.” The Atlantic, Jan.-Feb. 2015, pp.92-97.
|Print Magazine Article, No Author||
“Q&A with Red Wassenich.” Library Journal, 15 Jun. 2007, vol. 132, p. 15.
|Print Newspaper Article with Author||
Yardley, Jim. “A Slogan Battle Keep Austin Weird.” The New York Times, 8 Dec. 2002, p. 33.
|Print Scholarly Article||
Borders, Max. “Keeping Austin Weird.” Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, vol. 64, no. 2, 2013, pp.16-17.
MULTIMEDIA - VIDEO, AUDIO, MISCELLANEOUS ONLINE SOURCES.
|Streaming Video from a Library Database||
“Male Pill.” Films On Demand, Films Media Group, 2010, fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=79355&xtid=47768. Accessed 3 Sept. 2021.
|Film or Video with One Publisher||
Opening Night. Directed by John Cassavetes, Faces Distribution, 1977.
|Film or Video Viewed Through an App or Streaming Service||
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Universal Studios, 1982. Netflix app.
|Online Video From a Video Sharing Website (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)||
Barack Obama Podcast: On Fatherhood. barackobama.com. 17 June 2007. YouTube. Web. 3 Sep 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=CURvgDRDg3M.
“Yiyun Li Reads ‘On the Street Where You Live.’” The Writer’s Voice: New Fiction from The New Yorker, hosted by Deborah Reisman, podcast ed., The New Yorker / WNYC, 3 Jan. 2017. Apple Podcasts.
Hayes, Terrence. “The Wicked Candor of Wanda Coleman.” The Paris Review, 12 June 2020, www.theparisreview.org/blog/2020/06/12/the-wicked-candor-of-wanda-coleman/. The Daily.
|Social Media (TikTok, Instagram, Twitter)||
Lilly [@uvisaa]. “[I]f U Like Dark Academia There’s a Good Chance You’ve Seen My Tumblr #darkacademia.” TikTok, 2020, www.tiktok.com/@uvisaa/video/6815708894900391173.
Smithsonian [@smithsonian]. “Baby Nizhóní takes her first trip to the woods. With parents from different Native tribes, she will not qualify for membership in her father's tribes, based on the system of "blood quantum," limiting her access to services, such as financial aid for college.: © Tailyr Irvine.” Twitter, 30 Sept 2021, twitter.com/smithsonian/status/1443591436285345804.
ONLINE SOURCES FROM THE INTERNET
Otero, Vanessa. “Media Bias Chart.” Ad Fontes Media, 1 Oct. 2021, adfontesmedia.com/.
Folgerpedia. Folger Shakespeare Library, 17 July 2018, folgerpedia.folger.edu/Main_Page.
|Page of a Website||
Kilroy-Ewbank, Lauren. “Introduction to the Aztecs (Mexica).” Khan Academy, 27 July 2021, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-americas/early-cultures/aztec-mexica/a/introduction-to-the-aztecs-mexica.
|Online Magazine Article||
Mundy, Liz. “The Long Battle for Women’s Suffrage.” Smithsonian, Apr. 2019, www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-battle-womens-suffrage-180971637/.
|Web Newspaper Article with an Author||
Parker-Pope, Tara. “How to Age Well.” The New York Times, 2 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-age-well.
|Article in a Scholarly Journal, Published Online||
Fisek, Emine. “Palimpsests of Violence: Urban Dispossession and Political Theatre in Istanbul.” Comparative Drama, vol. 53, no. 3, 2018, sholarworks.wmich.edu/compdr/vol52/iss3/7.
|Online Source with Missing Information||
Eaves, Morris, et al., editors. The William Blake Archive. 1996-2014, www.blakearchive.org.
Visualizing Emancipation. Directed by Scott Nesbit and Edward L. Ayers, dsl.richmond.edu/emancipation/.
WORKS CITED PAGE EXAMPLE
All sources are integrated into one list and arranged alphabetically by whatever word is listed first. Double-space the list and indent the second line (and subsequent lines) of an entry using the Hanging Indent feature on your word processing program (Word, Google Docs, etc).
IN-TEXT CITATION SAMPLE PARAGRAPH
When you create your citations, make sure to pay close attention to the punctuation outlined in the examples. Try to follow the example citations as closely as possible. With citations, even the small details matter.
If you have any questions, ask an ACC Faculty Librarian for help. We are here to assist you!
Go to https://library.austincc.edu/help/ask.php for ways to contact a librarian in person, by phone, email, or chat.
Red Wassenich Memorial Edition:
A tribute to our innovative leader in Information Literacy and the founder of the Keep Austin Weird Movement.
Austin Community College Library Services, 09/10/2021, R. Wassenich, A. Speetzen, L. Clement and P. Roche.