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How to cite properly

Learning Intention: I can identify the key parts of a reference

  I can explain why it's important to be consistent in my citations

Breaking down a citation

A standard citation in MLA format needs the following information in this exact order:

Author. Title. Place published: name of publisher, year published.

IMPORTANT: Notice how the title is italicized. Any time a title appears you should be italicizing it to show it is a title.

However a normal citation doesn't have colour. We have colour coded it to help you out while you learn.

Let's take a look at how to cite To Kill a Mockingbird using this format:

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Pennsylvania: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1960.

What about a website?

A standard website citation in MLA format needs the following information in this exact order:

Author (if known). "Title of page." Title of website, date published, url (without http://). Accessed date.

So it would look like this for citing this webpage

Jeffery, Joseph. "How to Cite Properly." PGSS Library Learning Commons, 2018, sd57.libguides.com/c.php?g=706430. Accessed 15 November 2018.

Why does the order matter?

Having a consistent way of doing citations helps readers find your source. If they don't know which is the author and which is the publisher it would be difficult for someone to locate the same source you used.

In-text citations

In-text citations link the information in your work back to the source that they came from. Think of it like an old fashioned hyperlink that works even if the source isn't online.

To do an in-text citation put a the author's name and the year the work was published in brackets at the end of sentence where you used the idea. If it's a direct quote you would also need the page number.

For example:

"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for" (Lee, 1960, p. 174)