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ENG 24 Prof. Jennifer Oliveri (Winter 2023)

Citation Basics

Citing your sources is a very important part of the research process. Why?

  • Citations help you avoid plagiarism. As you may know, Kingsborough stands strongly against plagiarism, or using the work of others as your own. (See the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity here.) Citing direct or indirect quotations can prevent you from inadvertently claiming another writer's work as your own. 
  • Citations help you make your case. In addition to avoiding plagiarism, citing sources will make your work much stronger. Each citation stands as a piece of evidence: a citation adds to your paper by saying to the reader: "What she is arguing is backed up by the scholars in the field."
  • Citations show the person who is reading how to get further information. Citations can be a great way of pointing your reader to more interesting sources on your topic. 
  • Citations strike up a conversation with your source. In scholarly writing, citations are considered a form of communication between one author and another. By citing an author's work, you not only support your own argument, but you are also announcing that the sources you cited are good works of research or scholarship. It's a conversation, even though they may not know about it. 

MLA Formatting

MLA Format (from the Modern Language Association) is the most common citation style used in undergraduate papers. You can find more information about MLA style in their handbook (available through the library), the Purdue OWL, or on MLA Style Center.  

Citation Links

A number of websites are devoted to helping students and other researchers cite their work.