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HUM 2220 (Hoaglen): Project Resources: MLA Format and Citations and Plagiarism

MLA Citations and Formatting

It is essential to use MLA formatting and citation when writing anything for this class.  MLA is a type of formatting style that has strict rules, which are intended to help the reader find the sources in the paper, as well as protect the writer from plagiarizing another's work. 

Plagiarism and Important Links to Prevent Plagiarism

Understanding the definition of plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarizing is essential.  By learning the definition of plagiarism, as well as proper types of citations, students will prevent their work from questions about their academic honesty.

What is plagiarism?

  • "The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work."
  • From The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2d ed.
  • If a student copies someone else's words into their paper and does not give the original author appropriate credit for their work, that is plagiarizing. That is stealing the hard work of another person and passing it off as one's own effort.

Avoiding plagiarism

  • Research takes time and organization. Start your project early. Take detailed notes that you can refer back to when it is time to write your final paper. If you need help, you can always ask your professor, librarian or campus writing lab for assistance.


  • Students can paraphrase a quote but must still must give credit where credit is due.  That means that even if you paraphrase, you must still cite the source in the text right after the paraphrase and add the correct style citation at the end of the paper.  (And…changing only a few words does NOT constitute paraphrasing.  You really do have to reword the quote and paraphrase in YOUR own words!)

Use In Text Citations When...

There are different ways in which students can approach integrating others' work into their research papers and projects. 

Direct Quotes a source directly by using “quotation marks” around a sentence or phrase (i.e., a piece of evidence).
¤This is used when you take something word for word and put it in your paper.
Paraphrasing is when you write about another writer’s ideas into your own words.
¤This is generally done when rewording a sentence or two.
Summarizing is when you explain the main points of a source in your own words. 
¤We tend to summarize large pieces of text, such as a page, chapter, or even an entire book.

Types of Sources

Additionally, there are different types of sources, and each is necessary for research papers and projects.

Types of Resources:

  • Primary - written by a person during that era/period
    (for example, Abraham Lincoln speech)

  • Secondary - written by a historian
    (for example, the information written in an eTextbook summarizing the culture, era, etc...)

Valencia College Plagiarism and Citation Resources

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