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ENG 511: Critical Approaches to Literature

Course guide for ENG 511 students.

MLA Style Guide

Citing Your Sources

Why should I cite my sources?

According the Arizona State University LibGuide on Citation and Plagiarism, there are four main reasons to cite:

  1. To acknowledge the author(s) of the work you are using in your paper.
  2. To demonstrate that the sources for your paper are of good quality and that the paper is well-researched.
  3. To allow readers to follow up on ideas mentioned briefly in your paper by finding the sources of the ideas and reading further.
  4. To give readers a context for your work and to provide links to others who have researched about the topic so readers can explore what else has been said about it.

The main reason not to plagiarize is because doing so is unfairly attributing ideas of someone else to yourself, whether or not you intend to.

If you’re unsure whether or not to cite something, ask your professor or a librarian for help. Remember, it’s better to overcite than undercite!

Have more questions about citing sources? Try this guide: