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ENG 100 Information Literacy Tutorial: Cite


Scholarship as Conversation

Discourse between professionals, researchers, and scholars (including YOU) develop and sustain the growth and spread of information and knowledge. Expert researchers:

  • Cite the work of others
  • Contribute to scholarly conversation
  • Consider that a piece of information may not represent the only perspective on an issue

Please visit the ARCL Frame "Scholarship as Conversation" for more info

For more info, links, and examples, please visit the Library's Citation Guide.

Why cite?

Giving credit to a source is a way to acknowledge the use of another person's words, ideas, or research.  This is known as citing your source.  In your paper, credit is given using a citation.

A citation includes all of the basic details of a source (author, title, date, etc.) written down in a prescribed way.  The format of the citation is determined by the citation style.  There are several different citation styles used in academia but the most commonly used here at Leeward are the MLA and APA styles.  Always check with your professor for the citation style being used in your class

When to Cite

When to cite

In general, you must cite everything except your own original words, ideas, or research.  This includes information from periodicals, books, videos, sound recordings, interviews, websites, blogs and social media posts, e-mails, images, etc.  However, there is an exception...

Common Knowledge

Common knowledge includes any information that is widely accepted, understood, and shared by the majority of people in a community.  Many historical and scientific facts, basic observations of the natural and man-made world, and common beliefs and practices can be considered to be common knowledge.  
Examples of facts which are common knowledge: 

  • The sky is blue
  • Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States
  • Kamehameha I was the first ruler of a unified Hawaiian kingdom
  • Hawai'i is the 50th state 

These facts are known by most people and so can be considered common knowledge.  It's a majority of people within a community or group, rather than everyone, that's the key for something to be considered common knowledge.

How to Cite

How to cite

The common citation styles in use at Leeward CC are the MLA and APA styles.  Each has a style manual providing guidance on research, writing mechanics, formatting, and documentation.  The Reference desk and the Reference collection have copies for review.

MLA  Handbook

Modern Language Association, aka "MLA style"
Primarily used in English and humanities disciplines

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Aka "APA style"
Primarily used in psychology and other social sciences disciplines

Parenthetical or in-text citations

This is the brief acknowledgement (in parentheses) placed within the text of a paper.  An in-text citation accompanies a quotation, a paraphrase, or a summary incorporated in your paper and includes the author's last name and/or page number(s).  The author's name directs a reader to the Works Cited or References list at the end of the paper.  The page number(s) specifies the exact location of the material within the source.

Bibliographic citations

A bibliography of all sources used in research is called the Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA) list.  The citations listed include all the pertinent information needed for a reader to locate the original sources.  A reader coming across an in-text citation in a paper can refer to this list for more information on the sources consulted by the paper's author.

Citation Help

Research database citation generation tools

Citation generator tools are available in CQ Researcher, EBSCOhost, ProQuest US West News, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, and other research databases.  These tools will create a citation in the most common styles.   Look for a "Cite" icon when reviewing your article. Note: The changes in the newly released MLA 8th edition may not be reflected in the citation tools found in the library databases. If you do not see the option to generate a citation using MLA 8th edition, it means that it is not currently available in that database.

Some databases like the Facts on File databases (Issues & Controversies, Today's Science, etc.) automatically generate a citation when you open the document.  Scroll down to the end of the article for the citation.  

Note: Do not cut and paste automatically created citations into your paper and think you have a correct citation. Always double check computer or database-generated citations.  

More Citation Help

For more info, links, and examples, please visit the Library's Citation Guide.

Regular Library Hours
General Information: (808) 455‑0210
Reference Support: (808) 455‑0379