Skip to Main Content

ENGL 082 Bailey

Introduction to Library resources

Citing & Referencing Sources of Information

Why do we cite?

  1. Give credit where credit is due. Every time you use someone else's ideas or words, you need to give them credit. Whether you are paraphrasing or quoting, no matter where you find the information (journal article, book, Wikipedia, website, etc.), you must cite your sources. It is plagiarism if you use someone else's ideas or words without crediting them. Visit the Library's Avoiding Plagiarism guide to be sure you understand plagiarism.
  2. Help your reader find your sources. By citing, you are providing your reader with the necessary information to locate your sources.
  3. Lend credibility to your arguments. Citing sources demonstrates that your arguments are solid, and backed up by other research.

Unpacking the citation - core elements


Title of source.

Title of container,

Other contributors,




Publication date,


 Template (Author page number).
Source with one author, with numbered pages (Smith 26)
Source with two authors, with numbered pages (Smith and Doe 26).
Source with more than two authors, with numbered pages (Smith et al. 26).
Source with numbered paragraphs, chapters, or lines (Smith, par. 2), or (Smith, ch. 2) or (Smith, line 14). 
In text citation for a source without numbered pages or paragraphs (Smith).
Quotation spanning two or more pages (Smith 14-15).
Source with no listed author, with page numbers (Citations, 55).
Poetry, three lines or fewer, with line numbers (Wayman, lines 15-17)

In-text citations identify the sources you have quoted, paraphrased or summarized in your paper, and correspond to a source or sources in your Works Cited list.

See MLA Handbook: "If your source uses explicit paragraph numbers rather than page numbers, give the relevant number or numbers, preceded by the label par. or pars. Do not, however, apply numbers not indicated by your source. Change the label appropriately if another kind of part is numbered in the source instead of pages..." (244)

If you need to include the title of a source in a parenthetical citation, see MLA Handbook sections 6.9 and 6.10, "Citing a work listed by title) and "Shortening titles of works" (237)

Works Cited List Example

Charton, H. B. "Hamlet." Shakespearean Criticism, edited by Laurie Lanzen Harris, vol. 1, 1984, pp. 166-68. Shakespearean Criticism Online,

Christie, Julie, performer. Hamlet. Castle Rock Entertainment, 2006.  

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark. Edited by Sylvan Barnet. Signet Classics, 1998.

"Symbolism, N." Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford UP, Mar. 2017,

MLA Resources

This site is maintained by the librarians of Okanagan College Library.
If you wish to comment on an individual page, please contact that page's author.
If you have a question or comment about Okanagan College Library's LibGuides site as a whole, please contact the site administrator.