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Eng 1A, Menendez: California Environmental Issues: Citation

Citing Sources

Why Cite?

One of the most important reasons to cite your sources is to avoid plagiarism, which is a violation of the Foothill College Academic Integrity Policy. Citing your sources is a standard academic practice that helps your reader find the resources you used to write your paper. You might think of it as leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for your reader to follow through your research process. It provides evidence to support your work and increases your credibility.

When to Cite?

Whenever you copy a paragraph, a sentence, or a phrase from an article, book, website, etc., you must put quotation marks around it and cite it, i.e., state where the quote came from. Even if you paraphrase information you have read, it is necessary to give credit to the author by citing where you found the information. There is an exception: You are not required to cite "common knowledge," facts that many people know or can easily find out; for example, the Earth orbits the sun. However, it is not always clear what is considered common knowledge. Does everyone in your class know that Walt Whitman was an American poet? If you're not sure whether something is common knowledge, it's best to be on the safe side and cite it.


MLA Citation Style & Examples

Citing Sources MLA style 8th edition

Be sure to use a hanging indent when you format your citations. Here are some sites which help describe how to format hanging indent in Word or GoogleDoc:

Word 2016 or 2013


MLA 8th edition style -The Core Elements

Be sure to use the same punctuation as the sample.

You may not have all the parts of the core elements, but use all the ones you have.

Citing Journal articles in MLA


Schwarz, Kirsten, et al. "Trees Grow on Money:
Urban Tree Canopy Cover and Environmental Justice." Plos One, vol. 10, no. 4, 01 Apr. 2015, p. e0122051. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122051.

Citing Radio or TV broadcasts in MLA

Broadcast TV or Radio Program

Begin with the title of the episode in quotation marks. Provide the name of the series or program in italics. Also include the network name, call letters of the station followed by the date of broadcast and city, if available.

" Six Degrees Could Change the World." National Geographic. National Geographic Video, 10 February 2008.

Citing Newspaper articles in MLA


Tuck, Dana. "Volunteers Lend Hands.” San Jose Mercury News 20 Apr. 2008, p. B2.

Citing Radio or TV transcripts

"The Secret Life Of The Sonoran Desert." Talk of the Nation, 29 Mar. 2013. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 7 Nov. 2017.



NoodleTools is a citation tool that will help you create citations and much more! Use it when you start your research to organize your sources, take notes, and write outlines.