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Research: Citations & Format

Creating Citations with Google Docs

MLA Style Guide

What is a citation?

A citation is what you include in your research project that shows where you got the information and ideas.  It gives your reader confidence that you consulted quality sources.

Citations have a consistent, specific format and usually contain the following elements:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Date of publication

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of copying someone else's words and passing them off as if they were your own.  

Plagiarism is a very serious offense and severe consequences often accompany it.  

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to properly cite your sources in the body of your paper, or project, and in your bibliography.

"Avoiding Plagiarism." YouTube, uploaded by GCFLearn, 13 September 2018,

Why is it important to cite your sources?

It is important to give credit to your sources for many reasons:

  • To show your reader that you've done proper research by sharing the quality resources you used
  • To be a responsible researcher by giving credit to other experts and their ideas.
  • To avoid plagiarism by properly quoting the words and ideas of others.
  • To give your reader the information they need to track down your sources if they would like to read further.

"Citing sources: Why & how to do it" YouTube, uploaded by OSLIS Elementary Libraries, August 2, 2018,