ENGL 099 Introductory Composition

formerly English 100

Avoiding plagiarism

Why cite your sources?

1. To give credit where it's due. When you use someone's ideas, figures, or words, you need to cite them.

2. To provide context and situate your own discussion in the ongoing conversation on your topic.

3. To lend weight to your work. When you cite an expert in the field, for instance, your argument is stronger.

4. So your reader can follow a clear path to your sources.

What are Citations?

Citation Basics

Review the list and image below, which both outline how the in-text citation in your essay connects to the larger reference page of your work. 

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An image of how an in-text citation goes hand in hand with a reference list

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  1. Place in-text citations in the body of the paper to acknowledge the source of your information.  This is meant to be a shortened version of the full citation that appears on the final page of your paper.
  2. Place full citations for all your sources on the last page entitled References or Works Cited (different citation styles require different titles).  Full citations are meant to provide readers with enough information so that they can locate the source themselves.
  3. APA or MLA are citation styles.  Each has different guidelines for how source information (author, title, year...etc.) should be formatted and punctuated for both in-text citations and for the References or Works Cited pages
Consult a guide for the specific citation style you are using:


APA Citation Style

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is used in Social Science disciplines, like Psychology and Education. Always consult your assignment or ask your instructor for the correct citation style to use

Source: "Introduction to Citation Styles: APA 7th ed." by CSUDH Library, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn the basic conventions of citing sources in-text and in a reference list using the American Psychological Association (APA) Style, 7th edition.

Quick Guides: APA and MLA

Citation Quick Guides

Verbal Citations in Speeches and Presentations

What should you include in a verbal citation?

When you give a speech...

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image of caption bubble with this info: You do not want a verbal citation to interrupt the flow of speech by giving too many details for example, it would be unnecessary to list the page number, volume and issue number of a journal article  but you need to give enough details so that your audience knows where the information came from, who the author is and what their credentials are, and often how current the information is

Why cite sources verbally?

  • to convince your audience that you are a credible speaker.  Building on the work of others lends authority to your presentation
  • to prove that your information comes from solid, reliable sources that your audience can trust.
  • to give credit to others for their ideas, data, images (even on PowerPoint slides), and words to avoid plagiarism.
  • to leave a path for your audience so they can locate your sources.


What are tips for effective verbal citations?


When citing books:

  • Ineffective: “Margaret Brownwell writes in her book Dieting Sensibly that fad diets telling you ‘eat all you want’ are dangerous and misguided.” (Although the speaker cites and author and book title, who is Margaret Brownwell?  No information is presented to establish her authority on the topic.)
  • Better: “Margaret Brownwell, professor of nutrition at the Univeristy of New Mexico , writes in her book, Dieting Sensibly, that …” (The author’s credentials are clearly described.)

When citing Magazine, Journal, or Newspaper articles

  • Ineffective: “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ from the ProQuest database notes that midwestern energy companies are building new factories to convert corn to ethanol.” (Although ProQuest is the database tool used to retrieve the information, the name of the newspaper or journal and publication date should be cited as the source.)
  • Better: “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ in a September 2010 issue of Journal of Environment and Development” notes that midwestern energy companies…” (Name and date of the source provides credibility and currency of the information as well as giving the audience better information to track down the source.)

When citing websites

  • Ineffective: “According to generationrescue.org, possible recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (No indication of the credibility or sponsoring organization or author of the website is given)
  • Better: “According to pediatrician Jerry Kartzinel, consultant for generationrescue.org, an organization that provides information about autism treatment options, possibly recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (author and purpose of the website is clearly stated.)

Note: some of the above examples are quoted from: Metcalfe, Sheldon. Building a Speech. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. Google Books. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.