How to Properly Cite Sources in a Written Assignment

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When completing your courses, in all areas of study, you will most likely be given writing assignments. Information you research will come from outside sources. Unless you are speaking your own opinion or experiences, you will need to cite and reference where your material comes from. Why does credit need to be given from these sources? Because otherwise it is stealing someone else’s work and efforts. Many universities, colleges, and certification programs will suspend or penalize you for not citing your work properly! Your professor will specify which format you will need to use, and the formatting specifics required. Here, we will go over just the citations, references and work cited page,


1. Citation- A quote from an article or book. A way to let readers know this specific information came from another source.

Example of MLA Citation in a Research Paper

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2. Reference- To link an article or a book to a citation. You are referencing the article you found the information from. According to Merriam-Webster, referencing is “the act of mentioning something in speech or writing”. Below is an example of APA format, the Title of the source is your reference.

Example of APA Citation and Reference

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3. Block Quotations-Sometimes you will want to use exact wording from an article that may be too long to paraphrase. When you use exact quotes over 4 lines long you will use a block quotation.

Example of Block Quotations

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4. Work(s) Cited- At the end of your research you will create a list of all the sources you used to put together your paper. This will be your work or works cited. There are different formats to follow while citing, referencing and making your work cited page such as, MLA, APA and Chicago Style formats.

Example of MLA Work Cited Page

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Example of APA Reference List Format

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Example of Chicago Style Bibliography

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You put in the hard work, make sure that you get full credit!

Need more help? CitationMachine is a helpful citation site to ensure your papers are correctly done! Your instructor or course mentor also will have supporting materials and websites to recommend. Don’t be shy – ask for assistance!

Ed4Career's courses are instructor or mentor led. You will always have the support you need! Learn more about the difference here.




By Kris Powers | February 16th 2022

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