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How to Cite an Essay

Last Updated: February 4, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Diya Chaudhuri, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Diya Chaudhuri holds a PhD in Creative Writing (specializing in Poetry) from Georgia State University. She has over 5 years of experience as a writing tutor and instructor for both the University of Florida and Georgia State University. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 555,809 times.

If you're writing a research paper, whether as a student or a professional researcher, you might want to use an essay as a source. You'll typically find essays published in another source, such as an edited book or collection. When you discuss or quote from the essay in your paper, use an in-text citation to relate back to the full entry listed in your list of references at the end of your paper. While the information in the full reference entry is basically the same, the format differs depending on whether you're using the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago citation method.

Template and Examples

how to cite on your essay

  • Example: Potter, Harry.

Step 2 List the title of the essay in quotation marks.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort."

Step 3 Provide the title and authors or editors of the larger work.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort." Great Thoughts from Hogwarts Alumni , by Bathilda Backshot,

Step 4 Add publication information for the larger work.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort." Great Thoughts from Hogwarts Alumni , by Bathilda Backshot, Hogwarts Press, 2019,

Step 5 Include the page numbers where the essay is found.

  • Example: Potter, Harry. "My Life with Voldemort." Great Thoughts from Hogwarts Alumni , by Bathilda Backshot, Hogwarts Press, 2019, pp. 22-42.

MLA Works Cited Entry Format:

LastName, FirstName. "Title of Essay." Title of Collection , by FirstName Last Name, Publisher, Year, pp. ##-##.

Step 6 Use the author's last name and the page number for in-text citations.

  • For example, you might write: While the stories may seem like great adventures, the students themselves were terribly frightened to confront Voldemort (Potter 28).
  • If you include the author's name in the text of your paper, you only need the page number where the referenced material can be found in the parenthetical at the end of your sentence.
  • If you have several authors with the same last name, include each author's first initial in your in-text citation to differentiate them.
  • For several titles by the same author, include a shortened version of the title after the author's name (if the title isn't mentioned in your text).

Step 1 Place the author's name first in your Reference List entry.

  • Example: Granger, H.

Step 2 Add the year the larger work was published.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018).

Step 3 Include the title of the essay.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018). Adventures in time turning.

Step 4 Provide the author and title of the larger work.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018). Adventures in time turning. In M. McGonagall (Ed.), Reflections on my time at Hogwarts

Step 5 List the page range for the essay and the publisher of the larger work.

  • Example: Granger, H. (2018). Adventures in time turning. In M. McGonagall (Ed.), Reflections on my time at Hogwarts (pp. 92-130). Hogwarts Press.

APA Reference List Entry Format:

LastName, I. (Year). Title of essay. In I. LastName (Ed.), Title of larger work (pp. ##-##). Publisher.

Step 6 Use the author's last name and year of publication for in-text citations.

  • For example, you might write: By using a time turner, a witch or wizard can appear to others as though they are actually in two places at once (Granger, 2018).
  • If you use the author's name in the text of your paper, include the parenthetical with the year immediately after the author's name. For example, you might write: Although technically against the rules, Granger (2018) maintains that her use of a time turner was sanctioned by the head of her house.
  • Add page numbers if you quote directly from the source. Simply add a comma after the year, then type the page number or page range where the quoted material can be found, using the abbreviation "p." for a single page or "pp." for a range of pages.

Step 1 Start your Bibliography entry with the name of the author of the essay.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron.

Step 2 Include the title of the essay in quotation marks.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron. "Best Friend to a Hero."

Step 3 Add the title and editor of the larger work along with page numbers for the essay.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron. "Best Friend to a Hero." In Harry Potter: Wizard, Myth, Legend , edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, 80-92.

Step 4 Provide publication information for the larger work.

  • Example: Weasley, Ron. "Best Friend to a Hero." In Harry Potter: Wizard, Myth, Legend , edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, 80-92. Ottery St. Catchpole: Quibbler Books, 2018.

' Chicago Bibliography Format:

LastName, FirstName. "Title of Essay." In Title of Book or Essay Collection , edited by FirstName LastName, ##-##. Location: Publisher, Year.

Step 5 Adjust your formatting for footnotes.

  • Example: Ron Weasley, "Best Friend to a Hero," in Harry Potter: Wizard, Myth, Legend , edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, 80-92 (Ottery St. Catchpole: Quibbler Books, 2018).
  • After the first footnote, use a shortened footnote format that includes only the author's last name, the title of the essay, and the page number or page range where the referenced material appears.

Tip: If you use the Chicago author-date system for in-text citation, use the same in-text citation method as APA style.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

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  • ↑ https://style.mla.org/essay-in-authored-textbook/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_books.html
  • ↑ https://utica.libguides.com/c.php?g=703243&p=4991646
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
  • ↑ https://guides.himmelfarb.gwu.edu/c.php?g=27779&p=170363
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ http://libguides.heidelberg.edu/chicago/book/chapter
  • ↑ https://librarybestbets.fairfield.edu/citationguides/chicagonotes-bibliography#CollectionofEssays
  • ↑ https://libguides.heidelberg.edu/chicago/book/chapter

About This Article

Diya Chaudhuri, PhD

To cite an essay using MLA format, include the name of the author and the page number of the source you’re citing in the in-text citation. For example, if you’re referencing page 123 from a book by John Smith, you would include “(Smith 123)” at the end of the sentence. Alternatively, include the information as part of the sentence, such as “Rathore and Chauhan determined that Himalayan brown bears eat both plants and animals (6652).” Then, make sure that all your in-text citations match the sources in your Works Cited list. For more advice from our Creative Writing reviewer, including how to cite an essay in APA or Chicago Style, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / How to Cite Sources

How to Cite Sources

Here is a complete list for how to cite sources. Most of these guides present citation guidance and examples in MLA, APA, and Chicago.

If you’re looking for general information on MLA or APA citations , the EasyBib Writing Center was designed for you! It has articles on what’s needed in an MLA in-text citation , how to format an APA paper, what an MLA annotated bibliography is, making an MLA works cited page, and much more!

MLA Format Citation Examples

The Modern Language Association created the MLA Style, currently in its 9th edition, to provide researchers with guidelines for writing and documenting scholarly borrowings.  Most often used in the humanities, MLA style (or MLA format ) has been adopted and used by numerous other disciplines, in multiple parts of the world.

MLA provides standard rules to follow so that most research papers are formatted in a similar manner. This makes it easier for readers to comprehend the information. The MLA in-text citation guidelines, MLA works cited standards, and MLA annotated bibliography instructions provide scholars with the information they need to properly cite sources in their research papers, articles, and assignments.

  • Book Chapter
  • Conference Paper
  • Documentary
  • Encyclopedia
  • Google Images
  • Kindle Book
  • Memorial Inscription
  • Museum Exhibit
  • Painting or Artwork
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Sheet Music
  • Thesis or Dissertation
  • YouTube Video

APA Format Citation Examples

The American Psychological Association created the APA citation style in 1929 as a way to help psychologists, anthropologists, and even business managers establish one common way to cite sources and present content.

APA is used when citing sources for academic articles such as journals, and is intended to help readers better comprehend content, and to avoid language bias wherever possible. The APA style (or APA format ) is now in its 7th edition, and provides citation style guides for virtually any type of resource.

Chicago Style Citation Examples

The Chicago/Turabian style of citing sources is generally used when citing sources for humanities papers, and is best known for its requirement that writers place bibliographic citations at the bottom of a page (in Chicago-format footnotes ) or at the end of a paper (endnotes).

The Turabian and Chicago citation styles are almost identical, but the Turabian style is geared towards student published papers such as theses and dissertations, while the Chicago style provides guidelines for all types of publications. This is why you’ll commonly see Chicago style and Turabian style presented together. The Chicago Manual of Style is currently in its 17th edition, and Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is in its 8th edition.

Citing Specific Sources or Events

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Gettysburg Address
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Speech
  • President Obama’s Farewell Address
  • President Trump’s Inauguration Speech
  • White House Press Briefing

Additional FAQs

  • Citing Archived Contributors
  • Citing a Blog
  • Citing a Book Chapter
  • Citing a Source in a Foreign Language
  • Citing an Image
  • Citing a Song
  • Citing Special Contributors
  • Citing a Translated Article
  • Citing a Tweet

6 Interesting Citation Facts

The world of citations may seem cut and dry, but there’s more to them than just specific capitalization rules, MLA in-text citations , and other formatting specifications. Citations have been helping researches document their sources for hundreds of years, and are a great way to learn more about a particular subject area.

Ever wonder what sets all the different styles apart, or how they came to be in the first place? Read on for some interesting facts about citations!

1. There are Over 7,000 Different Citation Styles

You may be familiar with MLA and APA citation styles, but there are actually thousands of citation styles used for all different academic disciplines all across the world. Deciding which one to use can be difficult, so be sure to ask you instructor which one you should be using for your next paper.

2. Some Citation Styles are Named After People

While a majority of citation styles are named for the specific organizations that publish them (i.e. APA is published by the American Psychological Association, and MLA format is named for the Modern Language Association), some are actually named after individuals. The most well-known example of this is perhaps Turabian style, named for Kate L. Turabian, an American educator and writer. She developed this style as a condensed version of the Chicago Manual of Style in order to present a more concise set of rules to students.

3. There are Some Really Specific and Uniquely Named Citation Styles

How specific can citation styles get? The answer is very. For example, the “Flavour and Fragrance Journal” style is based on a bimonthly, peer-reviewed scientific journal published since 1985 by John Wiley & Sons. It publishes original research articles, reviews and special reports on all aspects of flavor and fragrance. Another example is “Nordic Pulp and Paper Research,” a style used by an international scientific magazine covering science and technology for the areas of wood or bio-mass constituents.

4. More citations were created on  EasyBib.com  in the first quarter of 2018 than there are people in California.

The US Census Bureau estimates that approximately 39.5 million people live in the state of California. Meanwhile, about 43 million citations were made on EasyBib from January to March of 2018. That’s a lot of citations.

5. “Citations” is a Word With a Long History

The word “citations” can be traced back literally thousands of years to the Latin word “citare” meaning “to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite.” The word then took on its more modern meaning and relevance to writing papers in the 1600s, where it became known as the “act of citing or quoting a passage from a book, etc.”

6. Citation Styles are Always Changing

The concept of citations always stays the same. It is a means of preventing plagiarism and demonstrating where you relied on outside sources. The specific style rules, however, can and do change regularly. For example, in 2018 alone, 46 new citation styles were introduced , and 106 updates were made to exiting styles. At EasyBib, we are always on the lookout for ways to improve our styles and opportunities to add new ones to our list.

Why Citations Matter

Here are the ways accurate citations can help your students achieve academic success, and how you can answer the dreaded question, “why should I cite my sources?”

They Give Credit to the Right People

Citing their sources makes sure that the reader can differentiate the student’s original thoughts from those of other researchers. Not only does this make sure that the sources they use receive proper credit for their work, it ensures that the student receives deserved recognition for their unique contributions to the topic. Whether the student is citing in MLA format , APA format , or any other style, citations serve as a natural way to place a student’s work in the broader context of the subject area, and serve as an easy way to gauge their commitment to the project.

They Provide Hard Evidence of Ideas

Having many citations from a wide variety of sources related to their idea means that the student is working on a well-researched and respected subject. Citing sources that back up their claim creates room for fact-checking and further research . And, if they can cite a few sources that have the converse opinion or idea, and then demonstrate to the reader why they believe that that viewpoint is wrong by again citing credible sources, the student is well on their way to winning over the reader and cementing their point of view.

They Promote Originality and Prevent Plagiarism

The point of research projects is not to regurgitate information that can already be found elsewhere. We have Google for that! What the student’s project should aim to do is promote an original idea or a spin on an existing idea, and use reliable sources to promote that idea. Copying or directly referencing a source without proper citation can lead to not only a poor grade, but accusations of academic dishonesty. By citing their sources regularly and accurately, students can easily avoid the trap of plagiarism , and promote further research on their topic.

They Create Better Researchers

By researching sources to back up and promote their ideas, students are becoming better researchers without even knowing it! Each time a new source is read or researched, the student is becoming more engaged with the project and is developing a deeper understanding of the subject area. Proper citations demonstrate a breadth of the student’s reading and dedication to the project itself. By creating citations, students are compelled to make connections between their sources and discern research patterns. Each time they complete this process, they are helping themselves become better researchers and writers overall.

When is the Right Time to Start Making Citations?

Make in-text/parenthetical citations as you need them.

As you are writing your paper, be sure to include references within the text that correspond with references in a works cited or bibliography. These are usually called in-text citations or parenthetical citations in MLA and APA formats. The most effective time to complete these is directly after you have made your reference to another source. For instance, after writing the line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities : “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…,” you would include a citation like this (depending on your chosen citation style):

(Dickens 11).

This signals to the reader that you have referenced an outside source. What’s great about this system is that the in-text citations serve as a natural list for all of the citations you have made in your paper, which will make completing the works cited page a whole lot easier. After you are done writing, all that will be left for you to do is scan your paper for these references, and then build a works cited page that includes a citation for each one.

Need help creating an MLA works cited page ? Try the MLA format generator on EasyBib.com! We also have a guide on how to format an APA reference page .

2. Understand the General Formatting Rules of Your Citation Style Before You Start Writing

While reading up on paper formatting may not sound exciting, being aware of how your paper should look early on in the paper writing process is super important. Citation styles can dictate more than just the appearance of the citations themselves, but rather can impact the layout of your paper as a whole, with specific guidelines concerning margin width, title treatment, and even font size and spacing. Knowing how to organize your paper before you start writing will ensure that you do not receive a low grade for something as trivial as forgetting a hanging indent.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a formatting guide on APA format .

3. Double-check All of Your Outside Sources for Relevance and Trustworthiness First

Collecting outside sources that support your research and specific topic is a critical step in writing an effective paper. But before you run to the library and grab the first 20 books you can lay your hands on, keep in mind that selecting a source to include in your paper should not be taken lightly. Before you proceed with using it to backup your ideas, run a quick Internet search for it and see if other scholars in your field have written about it as well. Check to see if there are book reviews about it or peer accolades. If you spot something that seems off to you, you may want to consider leaving it out of your work. Doing this before your start making citations can save you a ton of time in the long run.

Finished with your paper? It may be time to run it through a grammar and plagiarism checker , like the one offered by EasyBib Plus. If you’re just looking to brush up on the basics, our grammar guides  are ready anytime you are.

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Citation Basics

Harvard Referencing

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Citing sources: Overview

  • Citation style guides

Manage your references

Use these tools to help you organize and cite your references:

  • Citation Management and Writing Tools

If you have questions after consulting this guide about how to cite, please contact your advisor/professor or the writing and communication center .

Why citing is important

It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list

About citations

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.

Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. Choose an appropriate style guide for your needs.  Here is an example of an article citation using four different citation styles.  Notice the common elements as mentioned above:

Author - R. Langer

Article Title - New Methods of Drug Delivery

Source Title - Science

Volume and issue - Vol 249, issue 4976

Publication Date - 1990

Page numbers - 1527-1533

American Chemical Society (ACS) style:

Langer, R. New Methods of Drug Delivery. Science 1990 , 249 , 1527-1533.

IEEE Style:

R. Langer, " New Methods of Drug Delivery," Science , vol. 249 , pp. 1527-1533 , SEP 28, 1990 .

American Psychological Association   (APA) style:

Langer, R. (1990) . New methods of drug delivery. Science , 249 (4976), 1527-1533.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style:

Langer, R. " New Methods of Drug Delivery." Science 249.4976 (1990) : 1527-33.

What to cite

You must cite:

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge

Publications that must be cited include:  books, book chapters, articles, web pages, theses, etc.

Another person's exact words should be quoted and cited to show proper credit 

When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when you borrow another's words (or ideas) and do not acknowledge that you have done so. In this culture, we consider our words and ideas intellectual property; like a car or any other possession, we believe our words belong to us and cannot be used without our permission.

Plagiarism is a very serious offense. If it is found that you have plagiarized -- deliberately or inadvertently -- you may face serious consequences. In some instances, plagiarism has meant that students have had to leave the institutions where they were studying.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources - both within the body of your paper and in a bibliography of sources you used at the end of your paper.

Some useful links about plagiarism:

  • MIT Academic Integrity Overview on citing sources and avoiding plagiarism at MIT.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism From the MIT Writing and Communication Center.
  • Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It From Indiana University's Writing Tutorial Services.
  • Plagiarism- Overview A resource from Purdue University.
  • Next: Citation style guides >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 16, 2024 7:02 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.mit.edu/citing

how to cite on your essay

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Academic Skills: Writing: Reusing Your Work and Citing Yourself

As you progress in your Walden program, you may find that you research and write about a topic more than once. This is typical as you engage with key concepts and specialize in your field of study. See the information and best practices on this page to ensure you follow APA citation guidelines and Walden policy if you plan to reuse past written work.

Your Published Writing

If you have published your writing outside of the Walden classroom—in a journal or even in a local newsletter or blog—and would like to reuse portions of it or refer to the findings or ideas in that work, you will need to cite yourself.

Follow APA’s guidelines for citing and referencing published works.

Your Previous Coursework

If you are considering reusing your previously submitted Walden coursework in a new course or term, review the following best practice and policy sections.

Best Practices for Reusing Work

  • During your studies at Walden, you may write on the same topic for a second, third, or fourth time; regardless, your writing should reflect new approaches and insights into that topic to demonstrate intellectual growth.
  • Your writing submitted for previous Walden courses will show up in the Turnitin Similarity Report when reused. Contact your faculty if you plan to reuse your work to avoid concerns about possible plagiarism. Additionally, you could cite your unpublished writing (see How to Cite Your Unpublished Work below).
  • Your faculty for your current course can guide you about whether reusing your previous writing seems appropriate for a particular assignment or writing task.

Walden University’s Policy on Reusing Work

The following comes from the Walden Student Code of Conduct :

Walden Students’ Use of Their Own Scholarly Work

  • Students may reuse their work without an expectation that previously awarded grades or credit will attach to the new assignment. Any work previously published by the student must be appropriately cited if reused. 
  • Field Experience Exception: Any assignments or documentation submitted related to field experience (work, hours, client or patient logs, etc) must be new, current, accurate, and relate to clients or patients seen during the term and in direct reference to the assignment.

How to Cite Your Unpublished Work

Although not required in the policy above, in rare instances, you may need to or want to cite your unpublished Walden coursework.

If you cite or quote your previous work, treat yourself as the author and your own written document as the source. For example, if Marie Briggs wanted to cite a paper she wrote at Walden in 2022, her citation might look like this:

Briggs (2022) asserted that previous literature on the psychology of tightrope walkers was faulty in that it "presumed that risk-taking behaviors align neatly with certain personality traits or disorders" (p. 4).

And in the reference list:

Briggs, M. (2022). An analysis of personality theory [Unpublished manuscript]. Walden University.

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  • Referencing

A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 15 September 2023.

Referencing is an important part of academic writing. It tells your readers what sources you’ve used and how to find them.

Harvard is the most common referencing style used in UK universities. In Harvard style, the author and year are cited in-text, and full details of the source are given in a reference list .

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Table of contents

Harvard in-text citation, creating a harvard reference list, harvard referencing examples, referencing sources with no author or date, frequently asked questions about harvard referencing.

A Harvard in-text citation appears in brackets beside any quotation or paraphrase of a source. It gives the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication, as well as a page number or range locating the passage referenced, if applicable:

Note that ‘p.’ is used for a single page, ‘pp.’ for multiple pages (e.g. ‘pp. 1–5’).

An in-text citation usually appears immediately after the quotation or paraphrase in question. It may also appear at the end of the relevant sentence, as long as it’s clear what it refers to.

When your sentence already mentions the name of the author, it should not be repeated in the citation:

Sources with multiple authors

When you cite a source with up to three authors, cite all authors’ names. For four or more authors, list only the first name, followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Sources with no page numbers

Some sources, such as websites , often don’t have page numbers. If the source is a short text, you can simply leave out the page number. With longer sources, you can use an alternate locator such as a subheading or paragraph number if you need to specify where to find the quote:

Multiple citations at the same point

When you need multiple citations to appear at the same point in your text – for example, when you refer to several sources with one phrase – you can present them in the same set of brackets, separated by semicolons. List them in order of publication date:

Multiple sources with the same author and date

If you cite multiple sources by the same author which were published in the same year, it’s important to distinguish between them in your citations. To do this, insert an ‘a’ after the year in the first one you reference, a ‘b’ in the second, and so on:

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how to cite on your essay

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A bibliography or reference list appears at the end of your text. It lists all your sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, giving complete information so that the reader can look them up if necessary.

The reference entry starts with the author’s last name followed by initial(s). Only the first word of the title is capitalised (as well as any proper nouns).

Harvard reference list example

Sources with multiple authors in the reference list

As with in-text citations, up to three authors should be listed; when there are four or more, list only the first author followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Reference list entries vary according to source type, since different information is relevant for different sources. Formats and examples for the most commonly used source types are given below.

  • Entire book
  • Book chapter
  • Translated book
  • Edition of a book

Journal articles

  • Print journal
  • Online-only journal with DOI
  • Online-only journal with no DOI
  • General web page
  • Online article or blog
  • Social media post

Sometimes you won’t have all the information you need for a reference. This section covers what to do when a source lacks a publication date or named author.

No publication date

When a source doesn’t have a clear publication date – for example, a constantly updated reference source like Wikipedia or an obscure historical document which can’t be accurately dated – you can replace it with the words ‘no date’:

Note that when you do this with an online source, you should still include an access date, as in the example.

When a source lacks a clearly identified author, there’s often an appropriate corporate source – the organisation responsible for the source – whom you can credit as author instead, as in the Google and Wikipedia examples above.

When that’s not the case, you can just replace it with the title of the source in both the in-text citation and the reference list:

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

Harvard referencing uses an author–date system. Sources are cited by the author’s last name and the publication year in brackets. Each Harvard in-text citation corresponds to an entry in the alphabetised reference list at the end of the paper.

Vancouver referencing uses a numerical system. Sources are cited by a number in parentheses or superscript. Each number corresponds to a full reference at the end of the paper.

A Harvard in-text citation should appear in brackets every time you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source.

The citation can appear immediately after the quotation or paraphrase, or at the end of the sentence. If you’re quoting, place the citation outside of the quotation marks but before any other punctuation like a comma or full stop.

In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘ et al. ’

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning:

  • A reference list only includes sources cited in the text – every entry corresponds to an in-text citation .
  • A bibliography also includes other sources which were consulted during the research but not cited.

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, September 15). A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 25 March 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/referencing/harvard-style/

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FAQ: How should I cite my own work?

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If you want to re-use portions of a paper you wrote for a previous assignment or course, you need to take care to avoid self-plagiarism. The APA Manual (7th edition, p. 21) defines self-plagiarism as “the act of presenting one's own previously published work as original." This includes entire papers, and also slightly altered work. Self-plagiarism is a violation of SNHU’s Academic Honesty Policy ( Online Student Academic Integrity Policy This link opens in a new window ,  Campus Student Academic Integrity Policy This link opens in a new window ). To avoid self-plagiarism, you should request approval from your instructor to use portions of your prior work, and you also need to provide a proper citation within your paper.

If you are citing your own writing from a paper submitted for a previous course, then you would generally cite it as an unpublished manuscript. Here are specific examples of how it works in the three major citation styles:

Please check with your instructor to verify if you can use a previous work as it may violate academic integrity, honor codes, etc. If you are permitted to quote or paraphrase from earlier work, students should cite the work, following the unpublished work template (Section 10.8, p. 336). You can change “Unpublished manuscript” to “Unpublished paper” or another phrase.

Reference Page General Format

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of the work [Unpublished paper]. Department Name, University Name.

Reference Page Example

Fisher, J. D. (2021). This is the title of my paper [Unpublished paper]. English Department, Southern New Hampshire University.

In-Text Example

(Fisher, 2021)

According to the MLA Style site, authors should cite their work the same way they would cite any other source (book, article, etc.). In the text you can refer to yourself (e.g. "In my work...").

Works Cited General Format

Author Last name, Author First Name. "Title of Your Paper: Subtitle of Your Paper." Date. Name of the Course, Institution, Type of Work.

Works Cited Example

Lee, Cody. "My Student Paper: Why I Like This Subject a Lot." 9 Sept. 2021. New Media: Writing and Publishing, Southern New Hampshire University, student paper.

In-Text Citation Example

See the MLA Style pages Citing Your Own Work This link opens in a new window and How do I cite an unpublished student paper? This link opens in a new window for more information.

Chicago Style

Per the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition), unpublished works such as theses and dissertations are cited like books, with the exception that titles of unpublished works appear in quotations, not italics. Also, the type of paper, the academic institution, and the date follow the title.

For published works, please consult the Chicago Style Table of Contents This link opens in a new window for the type of source and follow the formatting guidelines associated.

Bibliography General Format

Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Paper." Essay, Southern New Hampshire University, Year.

Bibliography Example

Wendell, Richard. "This Is the Title of My Paper." Essay, Southern New Hampshire University, 2021.

Note Example

2. Richard Wendell, "This Is the Title of My Paper" (essay, Southern New Hampshire University, 2021), 4.

More Information

  • Citing Your Sources  (Shapiro Library) research guide.  

Further Help

This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. Please be sure to speak to your professor about the appropriate way to cite sources in your class assignments and projects.

Campus Students

To access Academic Support, visit your Brightspace course and select “Tutoring and Mentoring” from the Academic Support pulldown menu.

Online Students

To access help with citations and more, visit the Academic Support via modules in Brightspace:

  • Academic Support Overview: Getting Help with your Schoolwork This link opens in a new window

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What Is Cite This For Me's Citation Generator?

Cite This For Me’s open-access generator is an automated citation machine that turns any of your sources into citations in just a click. Using a citation generator helps students to integrate referencing into their research and writing routine; turning a time-consuming ordeal into a simple task.

A citation machine is essentially a works cited generator that accesses information from across the web, drawing the relevant information into a fully-formatted bibliography that clearly presents all of the sources that have contributed to your work.

If you don’t know how to cite correctly, or have a fast-approaching deadline, Cite This For Me’s accurate and intuitive citation machine will lend you the confidence to realise your full academic potential. In order to get a grade that reflects all your hard work, your citations must be accurate and complete. Using a citation maker to create your references not only saves you time but also ensures that you don’t lose valuable marks on your assignment.

Not sure how to format your citations, what citations are, or just want to find out more about Cite This For Me’s citation machine? This guide outlines everything you need to know to equip yourself with the know-how and confidence to research and cite a wide range of diverse sources in your work.

Why Do I Need To Cite?

Simply put, referencing is the citing of sources used in essays, articles, research, conferences etc. When another source contributes to your work, you have to give the original owner the appropriate credit. After all, you wouldn’t steal someone else’s possessions so why would you steal their ideas?

Any factual material or ideas you take from another source must be acknowledged in a reference, unless it is common knowledge (e.g. President Kennedy was killed in 1963). Failing to credit all of your sources, even when you’ve paraphrased or completely reworded the information, is plagiarism. Plagiarizing will result in disciplinary action, which can range from losing precious points on your assignment to expulsion from your university.

What’s more, attributing your research infuses credibility and authority into your work, both by supporting your own ideas and by demonstrating the breadth of your research. For many students, crediting sources can be a confusing and tedious process, but it’s a surefire way to improve the quality of your work so it’s essential to get it right. Luckily for you, using Cite This For Me’s citation machine makes creating accurate references easier than ever, leaving more time for you to excel in your studies.

In summary, the referencing process serves three main functions:

  • To validate the statements and conclusions in your work by providing directions to other sound sources that support and verify them.
  • To help your readers locate, read and check your sources, as well as establishing their contribution to your work.
  • To give credit to the original author and hence avoid committing intellectual property theft (known as ‘plagiarism’ in academia).

How Do I Cite My Sources With The Cite This For Me's Citation Machine?

Cite This For Me’s citation generator is the most accurate citation machine available, so whether you’re not sure how to format in-text citations or are looking for a foolproof solution to automate a fully-formatted works cited list, this citation machine will solve all of your referencing needs.

Referencing your source material doesn’t just prevent you from losing valuable marks for plagiarism, it also provides all of the information to help your reader find for themselves the book, article, or other item you are citing. The accessible interface of this citation builder makes it easy for you to identify the source you have used – simply enter its unique identifier into the citation machine search bar. If this information is not available you can search for the title or author instead, and then select from the search results that appear below the citation generator.

The good news is that by using tools such as Cite This For Me, which help you work smarter, you don’t need to limit your research to sources that are traditional to cite. In fact, there are no limits to what you can reference, whether it be a YouTube video, website or a tweet.

To use the works cited generator, simply:

  • Select from APA, MLA, Chicago, ASA, IEEE and AMA * styles.
  • Choose the type of source you would like to cite (e.g. website, book, journal, video).
  • Enter the URL , DOI , ISBN , title, or other unique source information into the citation generator to find your source.
  • Click the ‘Cite’ button on the citation machine.
  • Copy your new reference from the citation generator into your bibliography or works cited list.
  • Repeat for each source that has contributed to your work.

*If you require another referencing style for your paper, essay or other academic work, you can select from over 7,500 styles.

Once you have created your Cite This For Me account you will be able to use the citation machine to generate multiple references and save them into a project. Use the highly-rated iOS or Android apps to create references in a flash with your smartphone camera, export your complete bibliography in one go, and much more.

What Will The Citation Machine Create For Me?

Cite This For Me’s citation maker will generate your reference in two parts; an in-text citation and a full reference to be copied straight into your work.

The citation machine will auto-generate the correct formatting for your works cited list or bibliography depending on your chosen style. For instance, if you select a parenthetical style on the citation machine it will generate an in-text citation in parentheses, along with a full reference to slot into your bibliography. Likewise, if the citation generator is set to a footnote style then it will create a fully-formatted reference for your reference page and bibliography, as well as a corresponding footnote to insert at the bottom of the page containing the relevant source.

Parenthetical referencing examples:

In-text example: A nation has been defined as an imagined community (Anderson, 2006).* Alternative format: Anderson (2006) defined a nation as an imagined community.

*The citation machine will create your references in the first style, but this should be edited if the author’s name already appears in the text.

Bibliography / Works Cited list example: Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined Communities. London: Verso.

Popular Citation Examples

  • Citing archive material
  • Citing artwork
  • Citing an audiobook
  • Citing the Bible
  • Citing a blog
  • Citing a book
  • Citing a book chapter
  • Citing a comic book
  • Citing conference proceedings
  • Citing a court case
  • Citing a database
  • Citing a dictionary entry
  • Citing a dissertation
  • Citing an eBook
  • Citing an edited book
  • Citing an email
  • Citing an encyclopedia article
  • Citing a government publication
  • Citing an image
  • Citing an interview
  • Citing a journal article
  • Citing legislation
  • Citing a magazine
  • Citing a meme
  • Citing a mobile app
  • Citing a movie
  • Citing a newspaper
  • Citing a pamphlet
  • Citing a patent
  • Citing a play
  • Citing a podcast
  • Citing a poem
  • Citing a presentation
  • Citing a press release
  • Citing a pseudonym
  • Citing a report
  • Citing Shakespeare
  • Citing social media
  • Citing a song
  • Citing software
  • Citing a speech
  • Citing translated book
  • Citing a TV Show
  • Citing a weather report
  • Citing a website
  • Citing Wikipedia article
  • Citing a YouTube video

What Are Citation Styles?

A citation style is a set of rules that you, as an academic writer, must follow to ensure the quality and relevance of your work. There are thousands of styles that are used in different academic institutions around the world, but in the US the most common are APA, MLA and Chicago.

The style you need to use will depend on the preference of your professor, discipline or academic institution – so if you’re unsure which style you should be using, consult your department and follow their guidelines exactly, as this is what you’ll be evaluated on when it comes to grading.

Referencing isn’t just there to guard against plagiarism – presenting your research in a clear and consistent way eases the reader’s comprehension. Each style has a different set of rules for both page formatting and referencing. Be sure to adhere to formatting rules such as font type, font size and line spacing to ensure that your work is easily legible. Furthermore, if your work is published as part of an anthology or collected works, each entry will need to be presented in the same style to maintain uniformity throughout. It is important to make sure that you don’t jump from one style to another, so follow the rules carefully to ensure your reference page and bibliography are both accurate and complete.

If you need a hand with your referencing then why not try Cite This For Me’s citation builder? It’s the quickest and easiest way to reference any source, in any style. The citation generator above will create your references in MLA format style as standard, but this powerful citation machine can generate fully-formatted references in thousands of the widely used global college styles – including individual university variations of each style. So, whether your subject requires you to use the APA citation , or your professor has asked you to adopt the Chicago style citation so that your work includes numbered footnotes, we’re sure to have the style you need. Cite This For Me also offers a citation machine and helpful formatting guide for styles such as ASA , IEEE or AMA . To access all of them, simply create your free account and search for your specific style.

Popular Citation Styles

  • ACS Referencing Generator
  • AMA Citation Generator
  • APA Citation Generator
  • APSA Referencing Generator
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  • Bluebook Citation Generator
  • Chicago Style Citation Generator
  • Harvard Referencing Generator
  • IEEE Referencing Generator
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  • Nature Referencing Generator
  • OSCOLA Referencing Generator
  • Oxford Referencing Generator
  • Turabian Citation Generator
  • Vancouver Referencing Generator

How Do I Format A Works Cited List Or Bibliography?

Drawing on a wide range of sources greatly enhances the quality of your work, and reading above and beyond your recommended reading list – and then using these sources to support your own thesis – is an excellent way to impress your reader. A clearly presented works cited list or bibliography demonstrates the lengths you have gone to in researching your chosen topic.

Typically, a works cited list starts on a new page at the end of the main body of text and includes a complete list of the sources you have actually cited in your paper. This list should contain all the information needed for the reader to locate the original source of the information, quote or statistic that directly contributed to your work. On the other hand, a bibliography is a comprehensive list of all the material you may have consulted throughout your research and writing process. Both provide the necessary information for readers to retrieve and check the sources cited in your work.

Each style’s guidelines will define the terminology of ‘ works cited ’ and ‘ bibliography ’, as well as providing formatting guidelines for font, line spacing and page indentations. In addition, it will instruct you on how to order your works cited list or bibliography – this will usually be either alphabetical or chronological (meaning the order that these sources appear in your work). Before submitting your work, be sure to check that you have formatted your whole paper – including your reference page and bibliography – according to your style’s formatting guidelines.

Sounds complicated? Referencing has never been so easy; Cite This For Me’s citation machine will automatically generate fully-formatted references for your works cited page or bibliography in your chosen style. Sign in to your Cite This For Me account to save and export your bibliography straight into Microsoft Word, Evernote, EndNote and more. If that sounds like too much work.

How Do Citations Actually Work?

Although the citation generator will create your bibliography and works cited list for you in record time, it is still useful to understand how this system works behind the scenes. Understanding how a citation machine actually generates references will greatly increase the quality of your work.

As well as saving you time with its citation maker, Cite This For Me provides the learning resources to help you fully understand the citing process and the benefits of adopting great referencing standards.

The referencing process:

  • Find a book, journal, website or other source that will contribute to your work.
  • Save the quote, image, data or other information that you will use in your work.
  • Save the source information that enables you to find it again (i.e. URL, ISBN, DOI etc.).
  • Format the source information into a reference.
  • Copy and paste the reference into the body of the text.
  • Repeat for each source that contributes to your work.
  • Export or copy and paste the fully-formatted reference into your bibliography.

how to cite on your essay

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Create projects, add notes, cite directly from the browser and scan books’ barcodes with a mobile app.

Sign up to Cite This For Me – the ultimate citation management tool.

Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

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How to Write an Effective Essay

Writing an essay for college admission gives you a chance to use your authentic voice and show your personality. It's an excellent opportunity to personalize your application beyond your academic credentials, and a well-written essay can have a positive influence come decision time.

Want to know how to draft an essay for your college application ? Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing.

Tips for Essay Writing

A typical college application essay, also known as a personal statement, is 400-600 words. Although that may seem short, writing about yourself can be challenging. It's not something you want to rush or put off at the last moment. Think of it as a critical piece of the application process. Follow these tips to write an impactful essay that can work in your favor.

1. Start Early.

Few people write well under pressure. Try to complete your first draft a few weeks before you have to turn it in. Many advisers recommend starting as early as the summer before your senior year in high school. That way, you have ample time to think about the prompt and craft the best personal statement possible.

You don't have to work on your essay every day, but you'll want to give yourself time to revise and edit. You may discover that you want to change your topic or think of a better way to frame it. Either way, the sooner you start, the better.

2. Understand the Prompt and Instructions.

Before you begin the writing process, take time to understand what the college wants from you. The worst thing you can do is skim through the instructions and submit a piece that doesn't even fit the bare minimum requirements or address the essay topic. Look at the prompt, consider the required word count, and note any unique details each school wants.

3. Create a Strong Opener.

Students seeking help for their application essays often have trouble getting things started. It's a challenging writing process. Finding the right words to start can be the hardest part.

Spending more time working on your opener is always a good idea. The opening sentence sets the stage for the rest of your piece. The introductory paragraph is what piques the interest of the reader, and it can immediately set your essay apart from the others.

4. Stay on Topic.

One of the most important things to remember is to keep to the essay topic. If you're applying to 10 or more colleges, it's easy to veer off course with so many application essays.

A common mistake many students make is trying to fit previously written essays into the mold of another college's requirements. This seems like a time-saving way to avoid writing new pieces entirely, but it often backfires. The result is usually a final piece that's generic, unfocused, or confusing. Always write a new essay for every application, no matter how long it takes.

5. Think About Your Response.

Don't try to guess what the admissions officials want to read. Your essay will be easier to write─and more exciting to read─if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your subject. Here’s an example: If all your friends are writing application essays about covid-19, it may be a good idea to avoid that topic, unless during the pandemic you had a vivid, life-changing experience you're burning to share. Whatever topic you choose, avoid canned responses. Be creative.

6. Focus on You.

Essay prompts typically give you plenty of latitude, but panel members expect you to focus on a subject that is personal (although not overly intimate) and particular to you. Admissions counselors say the best essays help them learn something about the candidate that they would never know from reading the rest of the application.

7. Stay True to Your Voice.

Use your usual vocabulary. Avoid fancy language you wouldn't use in real life. Imagine yourself reading this essay aloud to a classroom full of people who have never met you. Keep a confident tone. Be wary of words and phrases that undercut that tone.

8. Be Specific and Factual.

Capitalize on real-life experiences. Your essay may give you the time and space to explain why a particular achievement meant so much to you. But resist the urge to exaggerate and embellish. Admissions counselors read thousands of essays each year. They can easily spot a fake.

9. Edit and Proofread.

When you finish the final draft, run it through the spell checker on your computer. Then don’t read your essay for a few days. You'll be more apt to spot typos and awkward grammar when you reread it. After that, ask a teacher, parent, or college student (preferably an English or communications major) to give it a quick read. While you're at it, double-check your word count.

Writing essays for college admission can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. A well-crafted essay could be the deciding factor─in your favor. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll have no problem creating memorable pieces for every application.

What is the format of a college application essay?

Generally, essays for college admission follow a simple format that includes an opening paragraph, a lengthier body section, and a closing paragraph. You don't need to include a title, which will only take up extra space. Keep in mind that the exact format can vary from one college application to the next. Read the instructions and prompt for more guidance.

Most online applications will include a text box for your essay. If you're attaching it as a document, however, be sure to use a standard, 12-point font and use 1.5-spaced or double-spaced lines, unless the application specifies different font and spacing.

How do you start an essay?

The goal here is to use an attention grabber. Think of it as a way to reel the reader in and interest an admissions officer in what you have to say. There's no trick on how to start a college application essay. The best way you can approach this task is to flex your creative muscles and think outside the box.

You can start with openers such as relevant quotes, exciting anecdotes, or questions. Either way, the first sentence should be unique and intrigue the reader.

What should an essay include?

Every application essay you write should include details about yourself and past experiences. It's another opportunity to make yourself look like a fantastic applicant. Leverage your experiences. Tell a riveting story that fulfills the prompt.

What shouldn’t be included in an essay?

When writing a college application essay, it's usually best to avoid overly personal details and controversial topics. Although these topics might make for an intriguing essay, they can be tricky to express well. If you’re unsure if a topic is appropriate for your essay, check with your school counselor. An essay for college admission shouldn't include a list of achievements or academic accolades either. Your essay isn’t meant to be a rehashing of information the admissions panel can find elsewhere in your application.

How can you make your essay personal and interesting?

The best way to make your essay interesting is to write about something genuinely important to you. That could be an experience that changed your life or a valuable lesson that had an enormous impact on you. Whatever the case, speak from the heart, and be honest.

Is it OK to discuss mental health in an essay?

Mental health struggles can create challenges you must overcome during your education and could be an opportunity for you to show how you’ve handled challenges and overcome obstacles. If you’re considering writing your essay for college admission on this topic, consider talking to your school counselor or with an English teacher on how to frame the essay.

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Research papers are an essential part of academic life, but one of the most challenging aspects can be finding credible sources to support your arguments. 

With the vast amount of information available online, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, by following some simple steps, you can streamline the process of finding reliable sources for your research paper . 

In this guide, we'll break down the process into easy-to-follow steps to help you find the best sources for your paper.

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Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions

Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources.

Step 2: Utilize Academic Databases

Academic databases are treasure troves of scholarly articles, research papers, and academic journals covering a wide range of subjects. Institutions often provide access to these databases through their libraries. Some popular academic databases include:

  • IEEE Xplore
  • Google Scholar

These databases allow you to search for peer-reviewed articles and academic papers related to your topic. 

Use advanced search features to narrow down your results based on publication date, author, and keywords .

Academic Resources Classified by Discipline

Here's a breakdown of prominent databases categorized by academic discipline:

Step 3: Explore Library Catalogs

Your university or local library's catalog is another valuable resource for finding sources. Library catalogs contain books, periodicals, and other materials that may not be available online. 

Use the catalog's search function to locate relevant books, journals, and other materials that can contribute to your research.

Step 4: Consult Bibliographies and References

When you find a relevant source, take note of its bibliography or make a list of sources for the research paper. These lists often contain citations to other works that may be useful for your research. 

By exploring the references cited in a particular source, you can uncover additional resources and expand your understanding of the topic.

Step 5: Boolean Operators for Effective Searches

Boolean operators are words or symbols used to refine search queries by defining the relationships between search terms. The three primary operators include "AND," which narrows searches by requiring all terms to be present; "OR," which broadens searches by including either term or both; and "NOT," which excludes specific terms to refine results further. 

Most databases provide advanced search features for seamless application of Boolean logic.

Step 6: Consider Primary Sources 

Depending on your research topic, primary sources such as interviews, surveys, archival documents, and original data sets can provide valuable insights and support for your arguments. 

Primary sources offer firsthand accounts and original perspectives on historical events, social phenomena, and scientific discoveries.

Step 7: Evaluate the Credibility of Sources

Not all sources are created equal, and it's crucial to evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you encounter. 

Consider the author's credentials, the publication venue, and whether the source is peer-reviewed. Look for evidence of bias or conflicts of interest that may undermine the source's credibility.

Step 8: Keep Track of Your Sources

As you gather sources for your research paper, maintain a systematic record of the materials you consult.  Keep track of bibliographic information, including author names, publication dates, titles, and page numbers . This information will be invaluable when citing your sources and creating a bibliography or works cited page.

Other Online Sources

In addition to academic databases and library catalogs, exploring popular online sources can provide valuable insights and perspectives on your research topic.  Here are some types of online sources you can consider:

Websites hosted by reputable organizations, institutions, and experts (such as the New York Times) can offer valuable information and analysis on a wide range of topics. Look for websites belonging to universities, research institutions, government agencies, and established non-profit organizations.

Crowdsourced Encyclopedias like Wikipedia

While Wikipedia can provide a broad overview of a topic and lead you to other sources, it's essential to verify the information found there with more authoritative sources. 

Use Wikipedia as a starting point for your research, but rely on peer-reviewed journal articles and academic sources for in-depth analysis and evidence.

Tips for Assessing the Credibility of Online Sources

When using online sources, it's important to exercise caution and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you find. Here are some tips for assessing the credibility of online sources:

  • Check the Domain Extension: Look for websites with domain extensions that indicate credibility. URLs ending in .edu are educational resources, while URLs ending in .gov are government-related resources. These sites often provide reliable and authoritative information.
  • Look for DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers): DOIs are unique alphanumeric strings assigned to scholarly articles and indicate that the article has been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. Finding a DOI can help you assess the scholarly rigor of the source.
  • Evaluate the Authorship and Credentials: Consider the qualifications and expertise of the author or organization behind the website or blog. Look for information about the author's credentials, affiliations, and expertise in the subject matter.
  • Consider the Currency and Relevance: Assess how up-to-date the information is and whether it aligns with the scope and focus of your research. Look for recent publications and timely analyses that reflect current trends and developments in the field.

Wrapping it up!

Finding sources for your research paper may seem like a challenge, but by following these steps, you can locate credible sources to support your arguments and enhance the quality of your paper. 

By approaching the research process systematically and critically evaluating the information you encounter, you can produce a well-researched and compelling research paper.

If you are struggling with finding credible sources or have time constraints, do not hesitate to seek writing help for your research papers . CollegeEssay.org has professional writers ready to assist you. 

Connect with our essay writing service now and receive expert guidance and support to elevate your research paper to the next level.

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Is a robot writing your kids’ essays? We asked educators to weigh in on the growing role of AI in classrooms.

Educators weigh in on the growing role of ai and chatgpt in classrooms..

Kara Baskin talked to several educators about what kind of AI use they’re seeing in classrooms and how they’re monitoring it.

Remember writing essays in high school? Chances are you had to look up stuff in an encyclopedia — an actual one, not Wikipedia — or else connect to AOL via a modem bigger than your parents’ Taurus station wagon.

Now, of course, there’s artificial intelligence. According to new research from Pew, about 1 in 5 US teens who’ve heard of ChatGPT have used it for schoolwork. Kids in upper grades are more apt to have used the chatbot: About a quarter of 11th- and 12th-graders who know about ChatGPT have tried it.

For the uninitiated, ChatGPT arrived on the scene in late 2022, and educators continue to grapple with the ethics surrounding its growing popularity. Essentially, it generates free, human-like responses based on commands. (I’m sure this sentence will look antiquated in about six months, like when people described the internet as the “information superhighway.”)

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I used ChatGPT to plug in this prompt: “Write an essay on ‘The Scarlet Letter.’” Within moments, ChatGPT created an essay as thorough as anything I’d labored over in AP English.

Is this cheating? Is it just part of our strange new world? I talked to several educators about what they’re seeing in classrooms and how they’re monitoring it. Before you berate your child over how you wrote essays with a No. 2 pencil, here are some things to consider.

Adapting to new technology isn’t immoral. “We have to recalibrate our sense of what’s acceptable. There was a time when every teacher said: ‘Oh, it’s cheating to use Wikipedia.’ And guess what? We got used to it, we decided it’s reputable enough, and we cite Wikipedia all the time,” says Noah Giansiracusa, an associate math professor at Bentley University who hosts the podcast “ AI in Academia: Navigating the Future .”

“There’s a calibration period where a technology is new and untested. It’s good to be cautious and to treat it with trepidation. Then, over time, the norms kind of adapt,” he says — just like new-fangled graphing calculators or the internet in days of yore.

“I think the current conversation around AI should not be centered on an issue with plagiarism. It should be centered on how AI will alter methods for learning and expressing oneself. ‘Catching’ students who use fully AI-generated products ... implies a ‘gotcha’ atmosphere,” says Jim Nagle, a history teacher at Bedford High School. “Since AI is already a huge part of our day-to-day lives, it’s no surprise our students are making it a part of their academic tool kit. Teachers and students should be at the forefront of discussions about responsible and ethical use.”

Sign up for Parenting Unfiltered.

Teachers and parents could use AI to think about education at a higher level. Really, learning is about more than regurgitating information — or it should be, anyway. But regurgitation is what AI does best.

“If our system is just for students to write a bunch of essays and then grade the results? Something’s missing. We need to really talk about their purpose and what they’re getting out of this, and maybe think about different forms of assignments and grading,” Giansiracusa says.

After all, while AI aggregates and organizes ideas, the quality of its responses depends on the users’ prompts. Instead of recoiling from it, use it as a conversation-starter.

“What parents and teachers can do is to start the conversation with kids: ‘What are we trying to learn here? Is it even something that ChatGPT could answer? Why did your assignment not convince you that you need to do this thinking on your own when a tool can do it for you?’” says Houman Harouni , a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Harouni urges parents to read an essay written by ChatGPT alongside their student. Was it good? What could be done better? Did it feel like a short cut?

“What they’re going to remember is that you had that conversation with them; that someone thought, at some point in their lives, that taking a shortcut is not the best way ... especially if you do it with the tool right in front of you, because you have something real to talk about,” he says.

Harouni hopes teachers think about its implications, too. Consider math: So much grunt work has been eliminated by calculators and computers. Yet kids are still tested as in days of old, when perhaps they could expand their learning to be assessed in ways that are more personal and human-centric, leaving the rote stuff to AI.

“We could take this moment of confusion and loss of certainty seriously, at least in some small pockets, and start thinking about what a different kind of school would look like. Five years from now, we might have the beginnings of some very interesting exploration. Five years from now, you and I might be talking about schools wherein teaching and learning is happening in a very self-directed way, in a way that’s more based on … igniting the kid’s interest and seeing where they go and supporting them to go deeper and to go wider,” Harouni says.

Teachers have the chance to offer assignments with more intentionality.

“Really think about the purpose of the assignments. Don’t just think of the outcome and the deliverable: ‘I need a student to produce a document.’ Why are we getting students to write? Why are we doing all these things in the first place? If teachers are more mindful, and maybe parents can also be more mindful, I think it pushes us away from this dangerous trap of thinking about in terms of ‘cheating,’ which, to me, is a really slippery path,” Giansiracusa says.

AI can boost confidence and reduce procrastination. Sometimes, a robot can do something better than a human, such as writing a dreaded resume and cover letter. And that’s OK; it’s useful, even.

“Often, students avoid applying to internships because they’re just overwhelmed at the thought of writing a cover letter, or they’re afraid their resume isn’t good enough. I think that tools like this can help them feel more confident. They may be more likely to do it sooner and have more organized and better applications,” says Kristin Casasanto, director of post-graduate planning at Olin College of Engineering.

Casasanto says that AI is also useful for de-stressing during interview prep.

“Students can use generative AI to plug in a job description and say, ‘Come up with a list of interview questions based on the job description,’ which will give them an idea of what may be asked, and they can even then say, ‘Here’s my resume. Give me answers to these questions based on my skills and experience.’ They’re going to really build their confidence around that,” Casasanto says.

Plus, when students use AI for basics, it frees up more time to meet with career counselors about substantive issues.

“It will help us as far as scalability. … Career services staff can then utilize our personal time in much more meaningful ways with students,” Casasanto says.

We need to remember: These kids grew up during a pandemic. We can’t expect kids to resist technology when they’ve been forced to learn in new ways since COVID hit.

“Now we’re seeing pandemic-era high school students come into college. They’ve been channeled through Google Classroom their whole career,” says Katherine Jewell, a history professor at Fitchburg State University.

“They need to have technology management and information literacy built into the curriculum,” Jewell says.

Jewell recently graded a paper on the history of college sports. It was obvious which papers were written by AI: They didn’t address the question. In her syllabus, Jewell defines plagiarism as “any attempt by a student to represent the work of another, including computers, as their own.”

This means that AI qualifies, but she also has an open mind, given students’ circumstances.

“My students want to do the right thing, for the most part. They don’t want to get away with stuff. I understand why they turned to these tools; I really do. I try to reassure them that I’m here to help them learn systems. I’m focusing much more on the learning process. I incentivize them to improve, and I acknowledge: ‘You don’t know how to do this the first time out of the gate,’” Jewell says. “I try to incentivize them so that they’re improving their confidence in their abilities, so they don’t feel the need to turn to these tools.”

Understand the forces that make kids resort to AI in the first place . Clubs, sports, homework: Kids are busy and under pressure. Why not do what’s easy?

“Kids are so overscheduled in their day-to-day lives. I think there’s so much enormous pressure on these kids, whether it’s self-inflicted, parent-inflicted, or school-culture inflicted. It’s on them to maximize their schedule. They’ve learned that AI can be a way to take an assignment that would take five hours and cut it down to one,” says a teacher at a competitive high school outside Boston who asked to remain anonymous.

Recently, this teacher says, “I got papers back that were just so robotic and so cold. I had to tell [students]: ‘I understand that you tried to use a tool to help you. I’m not going to penalize you, but what I am going to penalize you for is that you didn’t actually answer the prompt.”

Afterward, more students felt safe to come forward to say they’d used AI. This teacher hopes that age restrictions become implemented for these programs, similar to apps such as Snapchat. Educationally and developmentally, they say, high-schoolers are still finding their voice — a voice that could be easily thwarted by a robot.

“Part of high school writing is to figure out who you are, and what is your voice as a writer. And I think, developmentally, that takes all of high school to figure out,” they say.

And AI can’t replicate voice and personality — for now, at least.

Kara Baskin can be reached at [email protected] . Follow her @kcbaskin .

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)

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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

The MLA Handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.

However, this guide will highlight a few concerns when citing digital sources in MLA style.

Best Practices for Managing Online Sources

Because online information can change or disappear, it is always a good idea to keep personal copies of important electronic information whenever possible. Downloading or even printing key documents ensures you have a stable backup. You can also use the Bookmark function in your web browser in order to build an easy-to-access reference for all of your project's sources (though this will not help you if the information is changed or deleted).

It is also wise to keep a record of when you first consult with each online source. MLA uses the phrase, “Accessed” to denote which date you accessed the web page when available or necessary. It is not required to do so, but it is encouraged (especially when there is no copyright date listed on a website).

Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA

Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.

Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.

Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.

Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources

If page numbers are not available, use par. or pars. to denote paragraph numbers. Use these in place of the p. or pp. abbreviation. Par. would be used for a single paragraph, while pars. would be used for a span of two or more paragraphs.

Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)

Here are some common features you should try to find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible:

  • Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.
  • "Article name in quotation marks."
  • Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
  • Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
  • Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
  • Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
  • DOI (if available, precede it with "https://doi.org/"), otherwise a URL (without the https://) or permalink.
  • Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed). While not required, saving this information it is highly recommended, especially when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.

Use the following format:

Author. "Title." Title of container (self contained if book) , Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2 nd container’s title , Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).

Citing an Entire Web Site

When citing an entire website, follow the same format as listed above, but include a compiler name if no single author is available.

Author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), DOI (preferred), otherwise include a URL or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site . Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites . The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory . Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/. Accessed 10 May 2006.

Course or Department Websites

Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title.

Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England . Purdue U, Aug. 2006, web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/241/241/Home.html. Accessed 31 May 2007.

English Department . Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/. Accessed 31 May 2015.

A Page on a Web Site

For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by an indication of the specific page or article being referenced. Usually, the title of the page or article appears in a header at the top of the page. Follow this with the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once.

Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.”  eHow , www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.

“ Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview. ”   WebMD , 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.

Citations for e-books closely resemble those for physical books. Simply indicate that the book in question is an e-book by putting the term "e-book" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).

Silva, Paul J.  How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. E-book, American Psychological Association, 2007.

If the e-book is formatted for a specific reader device or service, you can indicate this by treating this information the same way you would treat a physical book's edition number. Often, this will mean replacing "e-book" with "[App/Service] ed."

Machiavelli, Niccolo.  The Prince , translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.

Note:  The MLA considers the term "e-book" to refer to publications formatted specifically for reading with an e-book reader device (e.g., a Kindle) or a corresponding web application. These e-books will not have URLs or DOIs. If you are citing book content from an ordinary webpage with a URL, use the "A Page on a Web Site" format above.

An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph)

Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, and the date of access.

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV . 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado , www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-family-of-carlos-iv/f47898fc-aa1c-48f6-a779-71759e417e74. Accessed 22 May 2006.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine . 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive , www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. Accessed May 2006.

If the work cited is available on the web only, then provide the name of the artist, the title of the work, and then follow the citation format for a website. If the work is posted via a username, use that username for the author.

Adams, Clifton R. “People Relax Beside a Swimming Pool at a Country Estate Near Phoenix, Arizona, 1928.” Found, National Geographic Creative, 2 June 2016, natgeofound.tumblr.com/.

An Article in a Web Magazine

Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.

Bernstein, Mark. “ 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web. ”   A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites , 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.

An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal

For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. Include a DOI if available, otherwise provide a URL or permalink to help readers locate the source.

Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal

MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication) that does not make use of page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information.

Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.

Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print

Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal in print, including the page range of the article . Provide the URL and the date of access.

Wheelis, Mark. “ Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. ”   Emerging Infectious Diseases , vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/6/00-0607_article. Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.

An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)

Cite online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.

Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “ Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates. ”   Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library , https://doi.org/10.1002/tox.20155. Accessed 26 May 2009.

Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest , https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.

E-mail (including E-mail Interviews)

Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom the message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name. Include the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization.

Kunka, Andrew. “ Re: Modernist Literature. ”  Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000.

Neyhart, David. “ Re: Online Tutoring. ” Received by Joe Barbato, 1 Dec. 2016.

A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting

Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets.

Author or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site , Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access.

Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek , 29 Sept. 2008, boardgamegeek.com/thread/343929/best-strategy-fenced-pastures-vs-max-number-rooms. Accessed 5 Apr. 2009.

Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if you deem necessary.

@tombrokaw. “ SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign. ”   Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m., twitter.com/tombrokaw/status/160996868971704320.

@PurdueWLab. “ Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week. ”   Twitter , 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m., twitter.com/PurdueWLab/status/176728308736737282.

A YouTube Video

Video and audio sources need to be documented using the same basic guidelines for citing print sources in MLA style. Include as much descriptive information as necessary to help readers understand the type and nature of the source you are citing. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploader, cite the author’s name before the title.

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube , uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.

“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlpjSEtELs.

A Comment on a Website or Article

List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL.

Not Omniscient Enough. Comment on “ Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument Over Pasta. ”  ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendant-tells-passenger-shut-argument-pasta/story?id=39704050.

Should college essays touch on race? Some feel affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

A group of teenagers of color sit together on a floor

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When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education , it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 29: Kashish Bastola, a rising sophomore at Harvard University, hugs Nahla Owens, also a Harvard University student, outside of the Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday, June 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. In a 6-3 vote, Supreme Court Justices ruled that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina are unconstitutional, setting precedent for affirmative action in other universities and colleges. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Supreme Court strikes down race-based affirmative action in college admissions

In another major reversal, the Supreme Court forbids the use of race as an admissions factor at colleges and universities.

June 29, 2023

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action. The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote that universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds.

EL SEGUNDO, CA - OCTOBER 27, 2023: High school senior Sam Srikanth, 17, has applied to elite east coast schools like Cornell and Duke but feels anxious since the competition to be accepted at these elite colleges has intensified in the aftermath of affirmative action on October 27, 2023 in El Segundo, California.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Post-affirmative action, Asian American families are more stressed than ever about college admissions

Parents who didn’t grow up in the American system, and who may have moved to the U.S. in large part for their children’s education, feel desperate and in-the-dark. Some shell out tens of thousands of dollars for consultants as early as junior high.

Nov. 26, 2023

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, his first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child. Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “I wrestled with that a lot.”

Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and being made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Ore., had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

Los Angeles, CA - February 08: Scenes around the leafy campus of Occidental College Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

‘We’re really worried’: What do colleges do now after affirmative action ruling?

The Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action has triggered angst on campuses about how to promote diversity without considering race in admissions decisions.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word Is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word Is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” wrote Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane in New Orleans because of the region’s diversity.

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

LOS ANGELES-CA-MARCH 11, 2020: Classes have moved to online only at UCLA on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

A lot of what you’ve heard about affirmative action is wrong

Debate leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision has stirred up plenty of misconceptions. We break down the myths and explain the reality.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

The first drafts of her essay didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay describes how she came to embrace her natural hair. She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“Criticism will persist,” she wrote “but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Collin Binkley, Annie Ma and Noreen Nasir write for the Associated Press. Binkley and Nasir reported from Chicago and Ma from Portland, Ore.

More to Read

CLAREMONT, CA - APRIL 12: A campus tour takes place at Claremont McKenna College on Monday, April 12, 2021 in Claremont, CA. The school has reopened in-person tours after shutting them down last year amid the pandemic. The college tour is a key aid in helping students make their big decisions. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Editorial: Early decision admissions for college unfairly favor wealthy students

Jan. 4, 2024

LYNWOOD, CA-SEPTEMBER 7, 2023: Ozze Mathis, 17, a senior at Lynwood High School, is photographed on campus. College presidents and admission experts are expecting a big boost at historically Black colleges and universities as application portals begin to open up for enrollment next year. It would be the first application cycle since the conservative-majority Supreme Court outlawed racism-based affirmative action admission policies. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

HBCUs brace for flood of applications after Supreme Court affirmative action decision

Sept. 22, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as UCLA lecturers and students celebrate after a strike was averted Wednesday morning. Lecturers across the UC system were planning to strike Wednesday and Thursday over unfair labor practices. UCLA on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times).

Opinion: In a post-affirmative action world, employers should learn from California’s experience

Sept. 16, 2023

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FILE - Members of the 101st Airborne Division take up positions outside Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., Sept. 26, 1957. The troops were on duty to enforce integration at the school. On Monday, March 25, 2024, a teacher and two students from the school sued Arkansas over the state's ban on critical race theory and “indoctrination” in public schools, asking a federal judge to strike down the restrictions as unconstitutional. (AP Photo/File)

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Los Angeles, CA - May 17: Signage and people along Bruin Walk East, on the UCLA Campus in Los Angeles, CA, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

California extends deadline for students seeking state financial aid amid FAFSA turmoil

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How Many Steps Do You Really Need? That’s the Wrong Question.

Walking is important, but challenging yourself to go faster and higher can improve your health even more.

A pair of feet wearing sneakers walk along a patch of grass.

By Christine Peterson

We love counting steps. Maybe it’s because we like goals or else the constant reminder on our wrists of how far we’ve gone and need to go to hit a daily target. Or it could also be that study after study says walking is one of the most attainable ways to increase longevity.

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Walk faster.

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Push yourself by walking faster and breathing harder, he said. Building intensity into walking isn’t about burning more calories, it’s about strengthening your cardiovascular system. A 2022 paper in the journal Nature showed that walking faster led to lower rates of sleep apnea, acid reflux , diabetes and hypertension.

Begin by walking faster for 30 seconds or one minute at a time. Increase the frequency and length of those bursts as you are able.

Try walking outdoors.

Whether walking outside in itself improves your physical health is still up for debate, according to one 2023 meta-analysis . Dr. Baar, however, argues that we use more energy walking on soft surfaces like sand, gravel or dirt, because our tendons help us walk more efficiently on hard surfaces.

Regardless of whether it’s more difficult, he encourages people to walk on trails because spending time in nature has proven mental health benefits , and because trails tend to have more hills than neighborhood streets.

Walk uphill.

After speeding up, consider heading up. Finding hills to walk up is a good way to boost your fitness in a world where time is limited, said Dr. Sadiya Khan, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine and a volunteer for the American Heart Association.

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Consider putting weight in your backpack to boost the intensity of your walk even more. Rucking, as it’s called , helps with strength training while increasing your heart rate, said Dr. Khan.

But Dr. Paluch cautioned anyone interested in rucking to ease into the practice. Weight can cause you to change your gait or how you carry yourself, potentially leading to an injury.

Try jogging.

People often ask Dr. Khan if it’s better to walk or run around a track. While the distance is technically the same, she said your long-term health will benefit more from running.

Just as when you started walking faster, begin running for 30 seconds or even a minute, then slowly increase those intervals. And whether or not you decide to run, Dr. Khan said, the best kind of daily steps are the ones you will take while working just a little harder.

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how to cite on your essay

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  • How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples

How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples

Published on March 5, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 17, 2024.

To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author’s name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL.

This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA , MLA , and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.

Use the interactive example generator below to explore APA and MLA website citations.

Note that the format is slightly different for citing YouTube and other online video platforms, or for citing an image .

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Table of contents

Citing a website in mla style, citing a website in apa style, citing a website in chicago style, frequently asked questions about citations.

An MLA Works Cited entry for a webpage lists the author’s name , the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the site (in italics), the date of publication, and the URL.

The in-text citation usually just lists the author’s name. For a long page, you may specify a (shortened) section heading to locate the specific passage. Don’t use paragraph numbers unless they’re specifically numbered on the page.

The same format is used for blog posts and online articles from newspapers and magazines.

You can also use our free MLA Citation Generator to generate your website citations.

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

Citing a whole website.

When you cite an entire website rather than a specific page, include the author if one can be identified for the whole site (e.g. for a single-authored blog). Otherwise, just start with the site name.

List the copyright date displayed on the site; if there isn’t one, provide an access date after the URL.

Webpages with no author or date

When no author is listed, cite the organization as author only if it differs from the website name.

If the organization name is also the website name, start the Works Cited entry with the title instead, and use a shortened version of the title in the in-text citation.

When no publication date is listed, leave it out and include an access date at the end instead.

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how to cite on your essay

An APA reference for a webpage lists the author’s last name and initials, the full date of publication, the title of the page (in italics), the website name (in plain text), and the URL.

The in-text citation lists the author’s last name and the year. If it’s a long page, you may include a locator to identify the quote or paraphrase (e.g. a paragraph number and/or section title).

Note that a general reference to an entire website doesn’t require a citation in APA Style; just include the URL in parentheses after you mention the site.

You can also use our free APA Citation Generator to create your webpage citations. Search for a URL to retrieve the details.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

Blog posts and online articles.

Blog posts follow a slightly different format: the title of the post is not italicized, and the name of the blog is.

The same format is used for online newspaper and magazine articles—but not for articles from news sites like Reuters and BBC News (see the previous example).

When a page has no author specified, list the name of the organization that created it instead (and omit it later if it’s the same as the website name).

When it doesn’t list a date of publication, use “n.d.” in place of the date. You can also include an access date if the page seems likely to change over time.

In Chicago notes and bibliography style, footnotes are used to cite sources. They refer to a bibliography at the end that lists all your sources in full.

A Chicago bibliography entry for a website lists the author’s name, the page title (in quotation marks), the website name, the publication date, and the URL.

Chicago also has an alternative author-date citation style . Examples of website citations in this style can be found here .

For blog posts and online articles from newspapers, the name of the publication is italicized. For a blog post, you should also add the word “blog” in parentheses, unless it’s already part of the blog’s name.

When a web source doesn’t list an author , you can usually begin your bibliography entry and short note with the name of the organization responsible. Don’t repeat it later if it’s also the name of the website. A full note should begin with the title instead.

When no publication or revision date is shown, include an access date instead in your bibliography entry.

The main elements included in website citations across APA , MLA , and Chicago style are the author, the date of publication, the page title, the website name, and the URL. The information is presented differently in each style.

In APA , MLA , and Chicago style citations for sources that don’t list a specific author (e.g. many websites ), you can usually list the organization responsible for the source as the author.

If the organization is the same as the website or publisher, you shouldn’t repeat it twice in your reference:

  • In APA and Chicago, omit the website or publisher name later in the reference.
  • In MLA, omit the author element at the start of the reference, and cite the source title instead.

If there’s no appropriate organization to list as author, you will usually have to begin the citation and reference entry with the title of the source instead.

When you want to cite a specific passage in a source without page numbers (e.g. an e-book or website ), all the main citation styles recommend using an alternate locator in your in-text citation . You might use a heading or chapter number, e.g. (Smith, 2016, ch. 1)

In APA Style , you can count the paragraph numbers in a text to identify a location by paragraph number. MLA and Chicago recommend that you only use paragraph numbers if they’re explicitly marked in the text.

For audiovisual sources (e.g. videos ), all styles recommend using a timestamp to show a specific point in the video when relevant.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2024, January 17). How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 28, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/cite-a-website/

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  1. How to Cite an Essay in MLA

    To cite your sources in an essay in MLA style, you need to have basic information including the author's name (s), chapter title, book title, editor (s), publication year, publisher, and page numbers. The templates for in-text citations and a works-cited-list entry for essay sources and some examples are given below: In-text citation template ...

  2. How to Cite Sources

    At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays, research papers, and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises). Add a citation whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

  3. 4 Ways to Cite an Essay

    2. List the title of the essay in quotation marks. After the author's name, type the title of the essay in title case, capitalizing the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs in the title. Place a period at the end of the title, inside the closing quotation marks. [2] Example: Potter, Harry.

  4. How to Cite Sources

    That's a lot of citations. 5. "Citations" is a Word With a Long History. The word "citations" can be traced back literally thousands of years to the Latin word "citare" meaning "to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite.". The word then took on its more modern meaning and relevance to writing ...

  5. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    In-text citations: Author-page style. MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number (s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the ...

  6. How to Cite in APA Format (7th edition)

    Place the page right after the main body and before any appendices. On the first line of the page, write the section label "References" (in bold and centered). On the second line, start listing your references in alphabetical order. Apply these formatting guidelines to the APA reference page:

  7. In-Text Citations: The Basics

    When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  8. MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    The following overview should help you better understand how to cite sources using MLA 9 th edition, including how to format the Works Cited page and in-text citations. Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in MLA. See also our MLA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel.

  9. The Basics of In-Text Citation

    At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays, research papers, and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises). Add a citation whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

  10. A Quick Guide to Referencing

    In-text citations are quick references to your sources. In Harvard referencing, you use the author's surname and the date of publication in brackets. Up to three authors are included in a Harvard in-text citation. If the source has more than three authors, include the first author followed by ' et al. '.

  11. Overview

    Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place. Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site). They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

  12. Reusing Your Work and Citing Yourself

    How to Cite Your Unpublished Work. Although not required in the policy above, in rare instances, you may need to or want to cite your unpublished Walden coursework. If you cite or quote your previous work, treat yourself as the author and your own written document as the source. For example, if Marie Briggs wanted to cite a paper she wrote at ...

  13. A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing

    When you cite a source with up to three authors, cite all authors' names. For four or more authors, list only the first name, followed by ' et al. ': Number of authors. In-text citation example. 1 author. (Davis, 2019) 2 authors. (Davis and Barrett, 2019) 3 authors.

  14. MLA: Citing Within Your Paper

    An in-text citation can be included in one of two ways as shown below: 1. Put all the citation information at the end of the sentence: 2. Include author name as part of the sentence (if author name unavailable, include title of work): Each source cited in-text must also be listed on your Works Cited page. RefWorks includes a citation builder ...

  15. How to Cite an Article in an Essay? (APA and MLA)

    The author's name might be unknown. If it's the case, use the first several words from the article's title but omit "A," "An," or "The" at the beginning. It can be written in quotes or italics, depending on how it's written in your list of references. The number of words you pick to use depends on the title.

  16. APA: Citing Within Your Paper

    An in-text citation is a citation within your writing that shows where you found your information, facts, quotes, and research. All APA in-text citations require the same basic information: Year of publication (or "n.d." if there is "no date": (LastName, n.d., p.#)) Page number, paragraph number, chapter, section, or time stamp where ...

  17. How should I cite my own work?

    If you want to re-use portions of a paper you wrote for a previous assignment or course, you need to take care to avoid self-plagiarism. The APA Manual (7th edition, p. 21) defines self-plagiarism as "the act of presenting one's own previously published work as original." This includes entire papers, and also slightly altered work.

  18. FREE Citation Machine: Accurate & Easy-to-Use

    To use the works cited generator, simply: Select from APA, MLA, Chicago, ASA, IEEE and AMA * styles. Choose the type of source you would like to cite (e.g. website, book, journal, video). Enter the URL, DOI, ISBN, title, or other unique source information into the citation generator to find your source. Click the 'Cite' button on the ...

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  20. How to Cite a Website in MLA

    Revised on March 5, 2024. An MLA website citation includes the author's name, the title of the page (in quotation marks), the name of the website (in italics), the publication date, and the URL (without "https://"). If the author is unknown, start with the title of the page instead. If the publication date is unknown, or if the content is ...

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    Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions. Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources. Example:

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  30. How to Cite a Website

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