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In-Text Citation: Citation

Research Hint

Students run into trouble with plagiarism usually when they are pressed for time. Gathering quotes and making sure citations are correct takes time so keep that in mind!

Research Hint

Remember, even if you have accidentaly forgotten a citation it is still plagiarism. Do the right thing and give credit.

Research Hint

The note-taking feature of noodle tools will save you lots of time. Remember, put only one fact per notecard. You might end up with a lot of notecards but you will easily be able to go back and find your information if you title the note correctly. You can then put each notecard that has to do with a particular topic into piles. Those piles can then become the different sections of your paper. If you have too much info on each card you will have to dig around and read through the entire card in order to find what you need.

Avoiding Plagiarism

A research paper involves lots of citation. Most people know that direct quotations require a citation. However, if you are paraphrasing or summarizing another person's work you also need to give them credit.

What is paraphrasing? It is a statement that says something that another person has said or written in a different way. You must give them credit, even if you have changed the wording!

You might be saying to yourself "Won't my whole paper be a string of quotes and paraphrases?" No! Your teacher wants to see your ideas too. The purpose of the quotations and paraphrasing is to back up your ideas. Therefore you want to use only the very best and most interesting quotations/paraphrases in your work. Direct quotations should only account for about 10% of your total paper. You weave these passages into your writing. This is a skill like any other and takes time to perfect!

In Text Citation

In order to give credit to a source, whether it is a direct quotation or a paraphrase, you must use in-text citation. The citation comes directly after the quote or paraphrase and lists the author (if there is one) or the title of the source as well as a page number (if there is one) in parenthesis. The information in the parenthesis should match with a source listed in your bibliography. It looks like this

"The strength and vitality of German publishing was one of the cornerstones of German culture in America, and one of the reasons for its tremendous success" ("Destination America").


In the article "Destination America," the author claims that "the strength and vitality of German publishing was one of the cornerstones of German culture in America, and one of the reasons for its tremendous success."

or (For items with a an author and page number)

"Since the buildup began, the number of Border Patrol Agents on the Mexican border has jumped from less than 2,500 in the early 1980's to more than 21,000 doubling in just the last eight years" (Smith 216).


Smith points out that "since the buildup began, the number of Border Patrol Agents on the Mexican border has jumped from less than 2,500 in the early 1980's to more than 21,000 doubling in just the last eight years" (216).

Notice: the credit can go either at the end or the beginning of your sentence. However, since it is a direct quote, the quotation marks must be present. Also, the period follows the parenthesis because the in-text citation is considered part of the sentence.  The citation comes at the end of the sentence, not in the middle. Whatever source is referenced in your paper must also then be listed in your bibliography.

Hint: For Sources with No Author Given

When there is no author, use a shortened title instead of the author’s name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if available.

EXAMPLE: We see so many global warming hotspots in North America because this region has "more readily accessible climatic data and more comprehensive programs to monitor and study environmental change . . ." ("Impact of Global Warming" 6).

Citation Advice

You might wonder, what is the purpose of all this citation? It is not only the fear of being brought before Honor Council (although academic integrity is a very important concept and one that all students should honor!) It's also just the right thing to do. These are just some of the other reasons we cite:

  • To back up your arguments. You want your thesis/ideas to be trusted. By showing evidence you are demonstrating that you aren't just making up the facts. The better your sources, the better your argument looks. For example, if you needed immigration statistics getting those numbers from the US census is far more credible than reporting the information that might be found on a Buzzle article. Put it another way, would you want to get your health information from a doctor that only searched Wikipedia?
  • Demonstrating your research. In a high school history class, you are probably not the first person to do research on a particular topic. There are many historians/experts that have done the work before. You will probably see their names mentioned several times in your research. By quoting and citing them you are demonstrating that you really know your topic and can prove it! Your teachers know who these people are! Teachers can also look at a bibliography and judging by the sources you used they can guess how good of a paper/project it is going to be!
  • Research trail.When you provide a bibliography/citations you are leaving a trail for others who read your work to go and find additional information. In college, you will probably be searching bibliographies and citations for sources and will appreciate them greatly!

Plagiarism Quiz

Test your ability to identify plagiarism by taking this plagiarism quiz from Indiana University

Citation Examples

See examples of how to incorporate citation into your writing. From the University of Southern Mississippi.

Research Hint

The Honor Council's definition of plagiarism includes accidental plagiarism as well as deliberate theft of someone else's ideas. From the Upper School Handbook:

Plagiarism is the presentation, whether deliberate or accidental, directly or in paraphrase, of another person’s ideas or creations, as one’s own. In addition, the reuse, whether cited or not, deliberate or
accidental, directly or in paraphrase, of one’s own work that was already submitted for a grade in an earlier
or concurrent course (at MICDS or elsewhere), is prohibited.

Research Hint

The notetaking stage of research is where many students get into trouble with plagiarism. Be sure to distinguish what is a direct quote, paraphrase or what might be your own idea. Always keep track of the page number or source title so that you can go back and find the material again if you need it.

Research Hint

Don't cut and paste directly from your source into your papers (unless it is a direct quote) You might accidentaly forget to go back and add quotes or you might be doing things so fast that you loose track. It is so much easier to plagiarize when you are cutting and pasting. There should be three stages of research: reading the source, taking notes and extracting the information from the source, and formulating your notes and ideas into the body of your paper.  Notetaking allows you to "digest" the information and get a deeper understanding.