Cite Your Sources!

Why cite your sources?
  • Your teacher can verify the accuracy and truthfulness of material that you quoted, summarized, or paraphrased
  • By citing work found in reliable resources you add strength to the statements you make and the conclusions you draw.
  • BOTTOM LINE: you avoid plagiarism.
  • Oops! I Plagiarised was prepared for kids entering UCLA. So why is it for you? The bites of information are illustrated with comic-book art, and a little laughter is helpful as we look at this very serious topic:Why Cite?

Is there a relatively painless way to get it all together? Yes! NoodleTools!

Although NoodleTools comes at a cost for the full version, the creators also kindly offer execellent Free Tools!

Tip: when citing an online resource, open two windows, one for NoodleTools and one for the web site; then you can just cut and paste the information that NoodleTools ask for.

Remember that if some of the information that Noodle Tools asks for isn't available for the source you are citing just leave those parts blank; fill in as much as you can for each citation, and go on.
Citing sources is not something you do every day, so it may help to review the steps by watching some of the Noodle Tools tutorials below.

Tutorial - by Damon and Debby Abilock, creators of Noodle Tools

Four Brief Tutorials from National Cathedral School

New User Registration

Create a New List

Create Citations

Note Cards

Noodle Tools Tutorial from Elm Street School


Documenting your sources means making a systematic record of each resource that you use in your research report.

Citing sources is another term for this process of documentation.

Citation is the term for the brief record you make for each resource you use in creating your research report.

Sources you use in your report usually include books, reference books, web sites, and online databases, but you may also be asked to cite films, videos, images, sound files, personal interviews, etc.

Guidelines: The teacher usually sets the guidelines for the extent of the sources for which citation will be required for student work.

Works Cited Page: At the end of your report you will have a separate page simply titled Works Cited. All of the citations you created for the resources that you used will be listed there in alphabetical order. SO easy with Noodle Tools. After you complete your list, just export it and Noodle Tools instantly creates a Word document that you can print and include at the end of your report.

MLA Citation Guidelines. There are several different kinds of citation systems used in high school and college. Most use the MLA (Modern Language Association) Citation Guidelines.


If your teacher asks you to use PARENTHETICAL ENCLOSURE here is a summary of what you need to remember:

A brief parenthetical citation placed in your paper every time you use someone else's material lets your reader know exactly which parts of the paper are attributed to which particular sources. These little parenthetical citations contain only enough information to enable your reader to find the source in the Works Cited Page. Think of the ( ) as a hyperlink that takes your reader directly from the words you have quoted or paraphrased in the text to the exact citation in your Works Cited page.

Where do I put the brief parenthetical citation in the text of my paper?

• Place the parenthetical reference where a pause would naturally occur, preferably at the end of a sentence. The citation precedes the punctuation mark that concludes the sentence, clause or phrase containing the borrowed material.
• Example: In his work on creek sharks, Forbes concludes that they are not entirely extinct (23).
• A citation directly after a quotation follows the closing quotation mark.
• Example: It may be so that what one expert says is true, namely that "creek sharks are not entirely extinct" (Forbes 23).

FAQs about Parenthetical Enclosure

What information will the citations in my paper contain?
• A citation usually contains the author's name and the page on which you found the particular piece of information you are citing. The citation (Donaldson 35) indicates that your information came from page 35 of a work by an author named Donaldson.
• If you wrote the author's name in your paper to make it clear whose work you are referring to, you only the need the page number (35).

What if there aren't any pages?
• Just use the author's name. (Donaldson).

What if 2 pages or more are being cited from the source?
• Separate them with a hyphen. (Donaldson 12-13)

What if I have two different works by the same author in my list?
• You will need to include shortened titles to tell them apart if you have more than one work by the same author. (Donaldson Skydiving 20) or (Donaldson Parachutes 10) should get the point across.

What if there isn't any author?
• Use title and page (Weight Lifting 12). If you mentioned the title in your paper, just use the page (12).

What if I am citing an encyclopedia?
• In the parenthetical enclosure keep it simple, use only the first author listed in your citation.

What if I want to cite 2 references for the same point?
• Include 2 parenthetical enclosures - one for each citation - at that point in the text.

What if...?
• Use common sense. The general rule is to be simple and economical and yet give just enough information to enable your reader to locate the correct source on your Works Cited page.
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