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Good News: Ready-made Citations

Most of the NCC Library's online databases, as well as its eBook collections, provide you with ready-made citations (MLA or APA). Cut and paste them into your document. You will also have to add in-text citations to the paper itself. Writing tutors and library staff can help!


Tip: Keep track of where you find information! Even if you are not sure you will use something in your final draft, keep the citation in a document in case you need it later.

Please check with your NCC instructor -- You may be asked to use MLA style (from the Modern Language Association) or APA style (from the American Psychological Association). Each style has a page in this guide.










In both APA and MLA, you need to cite each source that you use two times:


1. Cite it in the text.

in-text citations = short citations in the text of the paper




2. Cite it for your Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA) page.

Full citations go on a separate page at the end of the paper



TIP: It's easiest to do them in reverse order -- first, the full citation and then the shortened form.



Citation information in Spanish from our neighbors at Northern Essex Community College.

Online Writing Labs (OWLS)

The Purdue OWL See sections about APA and MLA styles. Excelsior College OWL is another good source.

3 Ways to Use Someone's Information Responsibly

There are three ways to use information from someone else's, or your own, work responsibly and ethically in your own work. In all three cases, you must give credit to the creator of that information by citing their work. 

Quoting – Quote by copying the exact words from a source into your paper, and putting quotation marks around them. You quote when the words matter as much as or more than the ideas or information in a passage. 

Paraphrasing – Paraphrase by rephrasing a sentence or short passage in your own words. It's not enough to just change the author's words -- you should completely change the way the information is expressed. You paraphrase when it's the ideas or information you need to express, and not the exact words. 

Summarizing – Summarize by stating the main ideas of a source or section of a source in your own words. You summarize when you want to refer to a long section of a source or to present an overview of one of your source's ideas. 

Always include a citation, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize.

If you quote, paraphrase or summarize your own writing (from another paper) you must cite yourself. "Recycling" part of or an entire paper from one class for another is considered plagiarism.

Check out "Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing" at Purdue Owl.