It is very important to always cite any information that you use in your papers that comes from another source. Not only does this keep you from plagiarizing (which is a very serious offense that could result in you being expelled from the University), but it also tells readers where you found that information and it gives your writing and work more credibility. When you use other people's words and ideas to support your writing and opinions, it shows readers that you have read what other researchers have discovered about your topic, and it gives your writing and opinions more validity.
In order to properly cite information, you need to use both in-text citations and a reference list at the end of your paper. In-text citations tell the reader immediately where the quote or paraphrase used in your paper came from. The reader can then use your reference list to look up that original work for themselves to read what else that particular author had to say about your topic.
Please watch this short video about Why Citations Matter.
For more information about citations and how they impact academic integrity, visit the Academic Integrity guide.
Q. How do I format my paper according to MLA style? What spacing and font should I use? What should my title page look like?
A. General MLA Formatting Info
Q. How do I cite information in the body of my paper? What should a quote or paraphrase look like in my paper?
A. In-Text Citation Basics
Q. What should my Works Cited list at the end of the paper look like? What should the header for this page look like? In what order should my sources be listed?
A. Works Cited Basics