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English 132 (Hatton): Citing Sources

Human Rights and Literature

To Cite or Not to Cite?

Use this decision tree to determine when you need to cite.

* graphic from the UCSD's Social Sciences and Humanities Library

Citation Guides & Tools

Some databases will create the MLA citation for you, although you will want to double-check for accuracy. Library catalog NextGen Melvyl and EBSCO databases like America: History and Life have this feature. Look for a "Cite" link.

More Resources on Avoiding Plagiarism

Purdue Online Writing Center (OWL). Research and Citation

  • quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing information

University of Arizona Libraries, Avoiding Plagiarism

  • examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing


Citing an Entire Web Site

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.

A Page on a Web Site

For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by the information covered above for entire Web sites. Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.

"Biography: Michael Ondaatje." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2011. <>.

--From Purdue OWL's MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources

Articles (from an online database)

An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)

Cite articles from online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services just as you would print articles ( In addition to this information, provide the title of the database italicized, the medium of publication, and the date of access.

Arnould-Bloomfield, Elisabeth. "Commitment and Genocide Literature: Boubacar Diop's Murambi, the Book of Bones." Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. 14.5 (2010): 505-513. Informaworld. Web. 27. Apr. 2011. 


-- From Purdue OWL's MLA Works Cited: Electronic Resources


Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing correctly and managing your research can help you avoid plagiarism. UC Merced has an academic honesty policy. See paragraph four for a plagiarism definition.

Ethically using information while in university will prepare you to avoid these Real World Examples of Plagiarism.

For more details on how to avoid plagiarism, watch this video from Bainbridge College: Plagiarism: How to avoid it / how not to do it < 3 minutes.