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English 482: Seminar in Literature after 1800 (Prof. McGuigan): Citing

Why Cite?

Documenting your sources is a necessity, which:

  1. Allows readers to find your sources;
  2. Provides evidence for your arguments;
  3. Adds credibility to your work;
  4. Avoids plagiarism, the consequence of which could be an allegation of academic misconduct. This could result disciplinary sanctions such as an oral reprimand, redoing your assignment, losing points off your grade, failing the class, being expelled, etc., all of which depend in part on the severity of the offense. For details, see the Avoiding Academic Misconduct Procedures web document and related documents such as Disciplinary Procedures: Student Academic Misconduct: UWS Chapter 14.

MLA Style

Whether you choose to quote, summarize, or paraphrase sources you use in your research paper, you must cite each one. For rules and examples in MLA 8th ed. style, look here:

If you use online citation formatters provided free on the internet or within a library database. Remember that computer generated citations are not foolproof. Be sure to review them for accuracy.

This video has good tips for Using a Citation from a Citation Generator.

If you are writing a long paper or thesis and want help organizing your sources and citations, try Zotero or EndNote, both of which the library supports.

MLA Citation Outlines

Note: These tips are from the MLA Handbook (8th ed.).

Each entry should include the following core elements, when known, which should be taken from the source's title page or the first page of a periodical article or webpage:

  • author name(s).
  • title of source.
  • title of container,
  • other contributors,
  • version,
  • number,
  • publisher,
  • publication date,
  • location.

You may find that you need to combine several examples to fit what you are citing.  

Book with two authors

Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich. The Crown of Columbus. HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

Journal article, online or in database, doi (preferred over URL)

Chan, Evans. “Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema.” Postmodern Culture, vol. 10, no. 3, May 2000. Project Muse, doi:10.1353/pmc.2000.0021.

Journal article, online or in database, no doi, stable link if available or, if not, other available URL

Goldman, Anne. “Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante.” The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1, 2010, pp. 69-88. JSTOR,

Journal article, print

Baron, Naomi S. “Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media.” PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.


Brieger, Brian. “Lecture 3: Recruitment and Involvement of Trainees.” Management 320 course. 28 Jan. 2014, U of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Address.

Citing Criticism from Literature Criticism Online/Gale Literary Sources in MLA Style

Holladay, Hillary. “Narrative Space in Ann Petry’s Country Place.”
Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, edited by Linda Pavlovski and Scott
Darga, vol. 112, Gale, 2002, pp. 356-62. Literature Criticism Online,
r&p=GLS&sw=w&asid=ddb4aa8a6683d6872d5e69b99859ca71. Originally
published in Xavier Review, vol. 16, no. 1, 1996, pp. 21-35.

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