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HCTC Library Orientation and Research Guide: Cite Your Sources

This guide is meant to help HCTC library users locate and use library resources and aid them in their research.


According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, CITE is defined as "to quote as an example, authority, or proof."

A CITATION in academic research is a specially formatted block of information referring to a source referenced in a research paper or assignment.

To correctly cite a source, first determine what the source is. Is the information source a:

  • magazine article
  • scholarly journal article
  • book chapter
  • YouTube video

The format of the source will determine HOW you cite it.

For example:

Modern Language Association (MLA Citations) 


Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.


Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Electronic Source:

Author(S). "Article Title." Journal Title, Vol., No., Publication Date, Page Range. Database, doi or URL


Author(s). Title. Publisher, Publication Date, URL.pdf.


American Psychological Association (APA Citations)


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.


Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

Electronic Source:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://Web address


The article we found to begin our research assignment needs to be cited in MLA to be included in our Works Cited list.

In order to write the citation we need to gather data about the source such as:

  • Accessed online or in print
  • Author Name
  • Source Title
  • Publication Title
  • Publication Date
  • Publication Place
  • Publisher (If Available)
  • URL

Try It!


  1. You give credit to the original author of a source used in your research by citing them.
  2. The format of the source will determine HOW you cite it.
  3. Cite every source you use to avoid plagiarizing.

Avoiding Plagiarism

KCTCS Student Code of Conduct (updated effective July 1, 2022) relating to plagiarism:

Standard 1:  KCTCS students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity and to support a campus environment that is conducive to learning and scholarship.
Students may not withdraw from a class to avoid a failing grade received as a result of academic dishonesty or any substantiated accusation of academic dishonesty.

Academic Dishonesty: KCTCS Colleges consider Academic Dishonesty to be a serious issue. The College and its Faculty recognize that students may not fully understand what academic dishonesty means.

  1. Violations or attempted violations may include, but are not limited to:  
    • Cheating examples include:
    • Using unauthorized notes, study aids, or information from another student or student’s paper on an in-class, hybrid, or virtual examination or assignment.
    • Trying to gain an advantage by not following the rules or instruction.
  2. Plagiarism examples include:
    • Taking the words or specific substance of another and either copying or paraphrasing the work without giving credit to the source.
    • Submitting a term paper, examination, or other work written by someone else.
    • Failing to give credit for ideas, statements of facts, or conclusions borrowed from another by not correctly using required documentation.
  3. Fabrication examples include:
    • Submitting work containing data not gathered in accordance with guidelines defining the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data.
    • Failing to include a substantially accurate account of the method by which data were generated or collected.
  4. Aiding and Abetting examples include: 
    • Providing material or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.
  5. Misuse or Student Falsification of Academic Records (including all paper and electronic versions of the partial or complete academic record) examples include:
    • Misusing or the attempted falsification, theft, misrepresentation, or other alteration of any official academic record of the college.

Web Resources for Citation Help