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Documentation/Citation & Info Ethics Print Page

APA Citation


Annotated Works Cited

Annotated works cited sections require critical research and evaluation skills. Annotations frequently include brief, two-sentence summaries. The following guidelines apply to materials in all formats--books, magazine articles, Web sites, and reference materials, etc.

The most challenging task may be locating the credentials of more obscure authors. Consult biographical tools, Contemporary Authors or some of our periodical and reference databases for biographical information. 

Check with your teacher to see which of the following elements you should include in your annotations:

·       Author's credentials

·       Scope and purpose of the work: Is it an overview, persuasive, editorial?

·       Comparison of the work with others dealing with the same topic or others in your Works Cited list

·       Intended audience

·       Summary of contents

·       Evaluation of research: Is the work logical, clear, well-researched?

·       Evaluation of author bias

·       Relative value of the work to the thesis

Example of an evaluative annotation:

Katz, Jon. "The Rights of Kids in the Digital Age." Wired July 1996: 120+. Print.

Katz, contributing editor of Wired and the author of Geeks, presents a compelling argument for safeguarding the rights of children online. The article is aimed at a general, but computer-savvy, audience. Katz offers a far more liberal perspective than recent pieces in such major news journals as Newsweek, which warned the public of the dangers children face in electronic environments. Katz advocates the idea of preparing the "responsible child" and outlines the rights of such a child. He claims that our new "digital nation" requires a social contract similar to the one proposed by philosopher John Locke and adopted by the founders of our own country to protect the rights of all citizens. This comprehensive, distinctive, liberal view added needed balance to my project.



On in-text, in-project, or parenthetical documentation

EasyBib MLA Handout
EasyBib APA Handout

Your in-text (or in-project) references should lead the reader back to a specific entry in your Works Cited list. Remember to check for more information. Our copy of the MLA Handbook is behind the circulation desk.

Long quotes in text / Block quotes: If your quotation runs more than four lines in your paper, set it off as a block quotation. Begin a new line and indent one inch from the left margin. A block quote does not require quotation marks. Although other types of punctuation are sometimes used, writers generally introduce a block quote with a colon. Unlike quoting in text, the ending punctuation in a block quote follows the text, not the parenthetic reference.

General guidelines for citing works within your text:

To document your sources, cite the author's name and the page number of the source in parentheses at the end of the sentence, before the final period:

  • Lowfat cream cheese can save you 300 grams of fat per year (Valenza 35).

If the author's name is used in your sentence you may just refer to page numbers:

  • Copaset argues that "yellow simply does not interact well with khaki" (45).

If you are referring to the whole work rather than a specific section, you may omit any reference in parentheses:

  • Berger's main thesis is that by using motifs, organic unity is easier to achieve.

Purdue Owl MLA In-text documentation


Works Cited, Works Consulted, What's the Diff?


 Works Consulted is the term used for the list of sources used in the preparation of a research project.  It is used to list background reading, summarized sources, or any sources used for informational purposes but not paraphrased or quoted.  It is used to document those sources referred to, but not cited in your project. 

 Works Cited is the term for the list of sources actually documented (paraphrased or quoted) in your project, generally through parenthetical citation. All of the parenthetical references in the paper or project should lead the reader to this list of sources.

Should I use one or both? 

A student might prepare only a Works Consulted page if he or she did not quote or paraphrase at all in the project.

A student might prepare only a Works Cited page if he or she paraphrased or quoted from and therefore cited all sources used.  

A student might prepare both Works Consulted and Works Cited pages if, in addition to the sources cited in the project or paper, he or she also consulted other sources that were not paraphrased or quoted.




When to: Summarize, Paraphrase, Quote

Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting

You can borrow from the works of other writers as you research. Good writers use three strategies—summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting—to blend source materials in with their own, while making sure their own voice is heard.

Quotations are the exact words of an author, copied directly from the source word for word. Quotations must be cited!

Use quotations when:

  • You want to add the power of an author’s words to support your argument
  • You want to disagree with an author’s argument
  • You want to highlight particularly eloquent or powerful phrases or passages
  • You are comparing and contrasting specific points of view
  • You want to note the important research that precedes your own
Paraphrasing means rephrasing the words of an author, putting his/her thoughts in your own words. A paraphrase can be viewed as a “translation” of the original source. When you paraphrase, you rework the source’s ideas, words, phrases, and sentence structures with your own. Paraphrased text is often, but not always, slightly shorter than the original work. Like quotations, paraphrased material must be followed with in-text documentation and cited the on the Works-Cited page.

Paraphrase when:

  • You plan to use information on your note cards and wish to avoid plagiarizing
  • You want to avoid overusing quotations
  • You want to use your own voice to present information
Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) or one or several writers into your own words, including only the main point(s). Once again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to the original source. Summarized ideas are not necessarily presented in the same order as in the original source. Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.

Summarize when:

  • You want to establish background or offer an overview of a topic
  • You want to describe common knowledge (from several sources) about a topic
  • You want to determine the main ideas of a single source

In-text / In-project Documentation

Rules for Using In-Text Documentation

1. Use the author's last name and give the page number in parentheses. Do not use "page" or abbreviations for page, just write the number. In most cases you will be citing one or two pages, leading your reader to a specific piece of information. Allow one space before the parentheses but none after it if a period follows.

EX: Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native is the penultimate example of coincidence (Ellman 89).

2. If you are using more than one book by the same author, give the last name,comma, the title, and the page.

EX: Animal imagery conveys the primitive, uncontrolled rage that the peasants feel. One person "...had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth" (Dickens, Tale of Two Cities 33-34).

3. If you identify the author and title in the text, just give the page number.

EX: In Jude the Obscure, Hardy depicts the heart-rending disappointment that Jude must face: "...the spires of the Medieval buildings haunted his existence and at the same time they beckoned him to call the pillars of learning his home" (9).

4. If there is no author, give the title and the page number.

EX: Some critics, including Christopher Ricks, feel that Thomas Hardy overuses trite coincidences to generate the action in his novels (Spectator 5).

5. If you are quoting a direct quotation from a secondary source, you must identify it as such.

 EX: According to Derek Montana, "...the critic's worst enemy is himself" (qtd. in Paris 87).

Web Page
Web documents generally do not have fixed page numbers or any kind of section numbering. If your source lacks numbering, omit numbers from your parenthetical references.

EX: "The Human Genome Initiative is a worldwide research effort that has the goal of analyzing the structure of human DNA and determining the location of the estimated 100,000 human genes ("National Human Genome Research Homepage"). 

Do not cite the page numbers of a printout. Pagination varies depending on fonts and printers.

List the author if given, otherwise list the newspaper title without any definite or indefinite articles that begin it (New York Times not The New York Times) and the page number.

EX: According to the New York Times, Jesse Jackson appeared to have a very decent chance to win the Democratic nomination for President (Kehoe C4).

Treat encyclopedias like books. If an author's name is given, use it and the page number. If no author's name is given, use the editor's name. If neither is given, use the title of the encyclopedia.

EX: Whale communication research started in the late 1950's by Stanford University graduate students who were studying mating calls (Davis 78).

Visual Material (graphs, charts, tables, etc.)
These materials must be documented. After each graph, chart, or table write: Source: then give complete bibliographic information, end with a colon, space, then the page number.


Violation of the Privacy Act



Not Violated

Tapping Telephone Lines



Mail Broken Into



SOURCE: Wesley, Harding. Databanks Keeping Track. (New York: Quarter, 1988): 89.

Or label the visual, add a title and give the artist or author and page. Further details will be in the Works Cited and Works Consulted pages.

If you are presenting through a PowerPoint or other multimedia program, include parenthetical notes in the text or as near as possible to the media item with full documentation in the closing slides.

6. If a quotation or information appears in the middle of your own idea, then insert the documentation immediately after the quotation.

EX: Derek Montana's idea, "...the critic's worst enemy is himself" (qtd. in Paris 87), parallels the idea that interpretation reveals one's own biases.

7. If the quoted material exceeds two lines in your text, you should either:

a) indent both margins of the quotation (and single space if possible on your word processor)

b) or indent both margins, single space, and use a smaller font.

8. Web documents generally do not have fixed page numbers or any kind of section numbering. If your source lacks numbering, omit numbers from your in-text documentation and use only the main entry, author, or title in parenthesis.

EX: A recent review noted that the book's purpose was "to teach cultures that are both different from and similar to world status quo" (Allen).

If your source includes fixed page numbers or section numbering (such as numbering of paragraphs), cite the relevant numbers. Give the appropriate abbreviation before the numbers (Moulthrop, pars. 19-20). In this case "pars" is used for numbered paragraphs. For a Web document, the page numbers of a printout should NOT be cited, because the pagination may vary in different printouts.

Specific Examples

Corporate or Committee Authorship 
It is best to include the name of the agency within the text.

EX: The Thomas Hardy Literary Society has called Hardy the "Victorian-modern father of literature" (34).

Work in a Multiple Volume 
It is unnecessary to use the word "volume" or the abbreviation if you identify by both the volume and the page number. The order is to give the volume number first then a colon, a space and then the page.

EX: Dvorak is nicknamed "Old Borax," but it is never mentioned by some critics (Hall 5: 87-88).

Magazine Article 
Give the author if available, otherwise use the title of the magazine.

EX: Jude can be surveyed from a Biblical point of view as a "martyr" (New Yorker 16).

Generally you use Arabic numbers for both acts and scenes, but you may still use Roman numerals for acts and lower case ones for scenes. List line numbers last and separate them with a colon.

EX: In Julius Caesar perhaps the most quoted line comes from Caesar: "Et, tu, Brute!" (3:1:23).

For short quotations, separate lines of poetry with / marks and list line numbers as if they were page numbers.

EX: "When I was half the man I was/And serve me right as the preachers warn," ("Lament" 37-38). 

For quotations longer than three lines, preserve the form and spacing of the original.



STHS Guide to MLA Citation


Citation Generators & Tools


Preparing your works cited & works consulted lists

No research paper is complete without a list of the materials from which you have borrowed ideas, facts, opinions, or quotations. You created a running list of sources when you filled out your source cards. Now you must formalize the list to accompany your paper so that a reader can see your sources.

Hacker & Fister's Research & Documentation Online

1.     Go through your source cards, discarding any sources you did not use.  Or, look at your NoodleBib or other electronic list of resources and discard sources not consulted or cited.

2.     Divide your remaining source cards or items into two piles or lists, one for the "Works Cited" list and one for the "Works Consulted" list. The "Works Cited" list should consist of all works that you specifically quoted, paraphrased or referred to in your text. The "Works Consulted" list should consist of all works that you consulted but did not actually cite in your text. You may want to develop two separate lists of sources in NoodleBib.

3.     Arrange your source cards or source list alphabetically according to the author's last name. If no author is indicated, alphabetize by the first prominent word in the title. If the work is published by a society and no author is named, use the society as the author in order to alphabetize. (NoodleBib should do most of this work for you.)

4.     Generally the following publication information should be included and in this order (omit any category that is not applicable):

Writing the Works Cited and Works Consulted Pages:

·       Head a page "Works Cited." (Do not use quotation marks around your title.)

·       Copy the alphabetized cards of all works cited in your paper, or those citations you gathered through NoodleBib.

·       Place the "Works Cited" page(s) immediately after the last page of the text.

·       On a different page, entitle your second list Works Consulted.Copy those alphabetized cards (or a second NoodleBib list) and place this list after the "Works Cited."

·       Single-space all lines in a works cited entry and double-space between entries. Indent the second and all subsequent lines in each citation half an inch. This is called a hanging indentation.

·       Truncate the names of publishers.

·       If you have two or more works by the same author, give the author's full name for the first citation and use - - -. for each additional work by that author.

·       Punctuate as shown in the examples that follow

See Hacker & Fister's Research & Documentation Online for more citation examples.


Why cite . . .

Produced by UTSA Libraries


EasyBib ebook


Hacker & Fister

Advice on documenting sources and downloadable samples of model papers.


The Basics About In-Text Citation


Plagiarism vs. Documentation

Plagiarism vs. Documentation

Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else's work as your own. It is the theft of intellectual property. The following examples should help you distinguish plagiarism from well-documented research.

Original text from:

McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. p. 57

His marriage to Abigail Smith was the most important decision of John Adams's life, as would become apparent with time. She was in all respects his equal and the part she was to play would be greater than he could possibly have imagined, for all his love for her and what appreciation he already had of her beneficial, steadying influence.

Writing sample #1

John Adam’s marriage to Abigail was the most important choice in his life. He was to come to understand this better with time. In so many ways, she was his equal, and he could not have imagined the importance of the role she was going to play, despite his love for her and his appreciation of her good, solid influence.

Unacceptable! This paragraph is the work of someone either deliberately plagiarizing or someone who doesn’t understand what it means to plagiarize. The writer may have changed a few words and switched the order of words in the sentences, but the writer has not changed McCullough’s sequence of ideas and has not used the information in a meaningful way. He or she failed to cite what are really McCullough’s original ideas or words.

Writing sample #2

When John Adams was ready to marry, he sought a woman who was his equal. He found Abigail Smith and loved her for her steadying influence.

Unacceptable! Not only did this student neglect to cite, this paraphrase twists McCullough’s meaning. Though it changes words significantly, it also does a poor job conveying the original idea accurately.

Writing sample #3

The best decisions of a great leader may extend beyond the political. In fact, the course of American history may have been changed by an entirely personal decision. In his biography of Adams, David McCullough notes that Adams’ choice of Abigail Smith as a wife was the most critical decision of his life. “She was in all respects his equal and the part she was to play would be greater than he could possibly have imagined” (McCullough 57).

This is acceptable because the author uses the information in a meaningful way, accurately paraphrases the ideas presented in the original source, credits them and weaves in a quote to emphasize the point. The source is properly quoted and cited using quotation marks and in-text documentation. Note that in this example the student created his/her own topic sentence, following an independent plan and not the necessarily following the structure of another author's material.

You can avoid plagiarism.
  • When you are taking notes, make sure that you copy all original passages in quotation marks.
  • Paraphrase by really putting ideas into your own words; go beyond changing a few words. Recognize that paraphrasing of unique ideas and facts also requires citation.
  • As you write, return to the text and check your paraphrase against the original source to make sure you haven’t unintentionally copied.
  • Use graphic organizers to restructure your facts and ideas.
  • Use your own voice to put a new twist on old information.
  • When in doubt, cite!
What is Common Knowledge?
  • You don’t have to cite everything. Facts or ideas referred to as “common knowledge” do not have to be cited.
  • Common knowledge includes facts that are found in many sources, facts that you assume many people know. A rule of thumb is that if you find a fact in three or more sources, it may be considered common knowledge.
  • An example of common knowledge is that John Adams married Abigail Smith.
  • Remember, you must document little-know facts and any ideas that interpret facts, even if they are paraphrased! For instance, even if you don’t use McCullough’s words, you should absolutely document McCullough’s belief that this marriage may have been the most critical decision of Adam’s life.


Evernote Tutorial (@stumpteacher)


Sample Acknowledgments

I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following groups and individuals to the development of my paper/project/presentation:

Ms. Librarian at Student-Centered High School

Ms. Librarian directed me to a wide range of resources on the web and in the library stacks.  She answered all of my questions as well as asked me questions that helped me to narrow my search. Further, she helped me figure out correct documentation for sources that did not fit the Research Guide examples. She gave me this help during class time and after school.  I also worked with librarians at University Library who helped me locate primary sources.

My class peer research/review group: Maryanne Bright, John Smart, Mollie Smarter, and Josephine Smartest

Maryanne shared five of her note cards with me; these I used in the paragraph describing oxyism.

John, Mollie, and Josephine helped me to refine my thesis and pointed out weaknesses in organization. Josephine directed me to two resources that she had used so that I could find more information to elaborate on a point that I had insufficiently developed.  Additionally, Mollie asked me questions about my research that helped me realize that some weaknesses were the result of a focus that was too general. John kept reminding me of our classroom mantra, ìSo what?î  Although at first I was annoyed, his unrelenting chant pushed me to go beyond the obvious statements I had been making.

John and Josephine reviewed my revised version and pointed out places that needed clarification or rephrasing.

            Jeanne Mark

My mother, Jeanne Mark, edited my work.  In particular, she eliminated problems that plague all of my work: comma errors and misusing ìitsî and ìitís.î

            Jason Cogent

Jason pointed me to a web site that has pictures of all of the covers of Little Golden Books.  I used these for the visual requirement that I needed for the paper/project/presentation.

            Nell Erudite

Nell allowed me to use her printer (after mine ran out of ink at midnight) so that I could meet the draft deadline.

Developed  by Carol H. Rohrbach

School District of Springfield Twp. (2002)


Asking Permission


Plagiarism (Common Craft)

Explained by Common Craft
An introduction of the basics of plagiarism and how to avoid it, told via a story of a student completing an assignment

More on info ethics



May be used informally to quickly check for originality, grammar, spelling, style, vocabulary, format.


Discouraging Plagiarism: Advice for Teachers

  The best strategy for discouraging student plagiarism is effective assignment design.

The information landscape has changed and areas of ethics are fuzzier than ever. Our students may not have a clear understanding of what constitutes plagiarism. In addition to traditional paper projects, students face new issues when they produce multimedia.  Issues get even thornier when students publish their work on the Web.

Here are some additional strategies instructors can use to discourage plagiarism and promote higher quality research:

  • Do not assign topical research!  (“Do a report on California.”)  Ask students to compare, analyze, invent, propose, etc.

  • Encourage inquiry-driven research.  Have students pose thoughtful questions based on their preliminary reading

  • Emphasize both writing and research as processes

  • Require in-process assessments.  Ask students to submit preliminary thesis statements, drafts of bibliographies, and outlines and organizers at various points in the process to avoid research catastrophes, as well as plagiarism.  Your librarian can help with these assessments.

  • Build peer and instructor reactions into formative assessments

  • Conference with students at key points in the process

  • Require students to journal about their experience with the research and writing processes

  • Require students to submit all drafts and outlines along with the final project

  • Require students to incorporate specific, appropriate, high-quality resources of varying types in the project. (For example, “Use two primary sources from Gale’s Student Resource Center, or for higher level high school students, use one “scholarly journal.”)

  • Create an assignment-specific rubric that would not highly value a generic, or recycled paper

  • Require students to attach a formal reflection piece, describing the research process, to their final project.  Ask them to highlight what worked well, what were the greatest challenges, how they would change the process next time.

  • Ask students to submit first pages (or entire documents) for any Web sites or sources not easily accessed through the library

  • Require an annotated bibliography.  To simplify, you might ask students to annotate by noting the author’s credentials and why the source was of particular value.  Consider asking students to answer three questions in their bibliographies:

    • How (How did you find this information? Which database or search tool did you use?)

    • Who (Who is the author and why should you trust him/her?)

    • Why (Why is this particular document truly relevant to your thesis/research?)






The software is totally free to check plagiarism and the best thing is that you do not need to register. The visitor can check his/her content in a few clicks and get the most accurate results from the search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.


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