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Beginning Your Works Cited List
- Understand plagiarism.
Plagiarism happens when you do not properly cite your sources, but instead steal someone else's words or ideas without giving them credit. Read more about how to avoid plagiarism on the plagiarism tab of our tips and tutorials libguide.
- Know what your instructor requires.
Are you required to use MLA style, for instance? If you can select a citation style for yourself, just be consistent.
- Keep track of your sources as you go.
This way, you will avoid having to remember where you found a particular quote or fact.
Compiling Your Works Cited
- What type of source is it?
Book, encyclopedia article, journal article, website, film ... ? Some of the library databases, such as Gale Virtual Reference Library or Oxford Reference Online, are the online versions of dictionaries and encyclopedias. These will be cited differently than articles from journal/magazine databases.
- What format is it?
Paper or online? A journal article retrieved from a library database, like EBSCO, will be cited differently than the same article if you accessed it in paper format.
- When you know the source type and format ...
a. Follow a citation style guidebook, or
b. Use NoodleBib (lower right side of tips and tutorials page) to help format and store your citations, or
c. Get more details and examples of MLA citations here