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ALS 150/162: INTO OSU Academic Reading and Writing

Research guide for INTO ALS 150/162

Why Cite Sources?

There are many good reasons why scholars and students cite the sources that inform their research and scholarship. Very generally, citing sources is a way to acknowledge when information is not one's own and credit those authors and creators who originated the information being used. Citing is the formal way that the acknowledgement and credit is documented.

In addition to giving credit to others for the work they have done, citing also:

  • lends credibility and authority to scholarly and other writing by providing evidence that the writer utilized relevant sources
  • provides the information that readers can use to access the original source of information or ideas
  • provides context for any original research or argument that the writer is presenting

You may want to review a short tutorial on Why You need to Cite Sources and OSU's Student Conduct Code for information on plagiarism.

Citing Sources in MLA Style

There are many different citation styles in use, and many disciplines have a style that is commonly used in that discipline. MLA style (established by the Modern Languages Association) is commonly used in the humanities.