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ENC 1101 College Composition I, Prof. Messerschmidt: Documenting Sources

Contacting Your Librarian

Why We Cite?

Why do we "Document" or "Cite" sources?

Whenever you base your ideas on another person's work or quote someone, you must document the source you utilized. Even when you do not quote directly from someone elses' work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the proper credit to the author.

A properly formatted works cited or references page:

  • Shows readers the sources you consulted 
  • Gives credit to the authors for their ideas 
  • Demonstrates that you have researched a variety of sources 

By following these guidelines included in the resource below, you avoid plagiarism.


Plagiarism is the act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of the author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author.

Follow the link below, to learn more about MLA & APA citation guide lines and other tools to help you document.

Documenting Resources (Citations)

Tips for Citing

At Polk State College Libraries, Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses, we have take home guides, books and online resources to help you cite correctly.  Please visit us online or in person to access them.

Basic Rules for citing in MLA

Alphabetize citation list. Do not consider A, An or The at the beginning of a title.

Double space work cited page.

Italicize titles, including any subtitle(s).

Capitalize words First, Last and all Principal words in titles.

Article or books without an author or editor, begin the entry with the title.

Create hanging indents for records longer than one line. (keyboard shortcut: Control + T)

Online sources: citations include publication date for source and the date you accessed them (keep track of dates you visit web sites)

Free Online Citation Tools

Easybib - EasyBib is an intuitive information literacy platform that provides citation, note taking, and research tools that are easy-to-use and educational. (Free MLA, registration required for APA & Chicago.)

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