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Citing Sources  

Guides for citing sources in MLA and APA format
Last Updated: Apr 10, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Purpose of Citing

To "cite a source" is to tell a reader of your paper where you got a specific quote, fact, graphic, or idea from. This allows the reader to check up on your information and make sure you have:

  • drawn on authoritative sources
  • used them fairly
  • copied from them accurately
  • included all important details
  • interpreted them correctly

Basic Parts of a Citation

Although different citation styles require varying info, the basic building blocks of a citation are usually the same:


  • Author (s)
  • Title of Book
  • Publisher
  • Place of publication
  • Year


  • Author (s)
  • Title of page
  • Title of journal
  • Volume & Issue 
  • Date
  • Page numbers


  • Author (or organization)
  • Title of page
  • Title of website
  • URL (Web address)
  • Date written/updated 
  • Date you accessed the page 




MLA and APA are the names of two different citation systems.  There are many others (AP, Chicago/Turabian, legal) but these are the two most used at Lake Land.  

APA is from the American Psychological Association and used mostly in the social sciences

MLA is from the Modern Language Association and used mostly in the humanities

For more details on the differences between MLA and APA, click here.


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