Skip to Main Content

Children's Literature Research Guide

Citing Sources and Plagiarism

The most common way to cite sources is to use a bibliography or "Works Cited" list at the end of your paper. The works cited list includes a citation for each of the sources you used to write your paper. The citations are formatted in a consistent style according to one of several standard citation formats. The two most common citation formats for college research papers are: (1) The APA Publication Manual (American Psychological Association) - predominately used in Social Sciences and (2) The MLA Handbook (Modern Language Association) - predominately used in Humanities and Liberal Arts. A third citation format is CMS Handbook (Chicago Manual of Style) and is used primarily in History, but also in Humanities and Social Sciences. Copies of the MLA Handbook (LB 2369 M52 2021), the APA Manual (BF76.7 .P83 2020), and the CMS Handbook (Z253 .U69 2017) are available in the Library stacks and the reference collection. Assistance with writing your paper is available at the VVC Writing Center. Always check with your instructor for the required citation format.

MLA Citation

Source: MLA Handbook. 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America2021.  

The MLA 9 style states that the following elements should be used in the order indicated (see left) for creating a citation for all types of sources. When citing sources, the new style organizes elements 1 – 9 in the order. Notice the punctuation marks indicated for each element. Basic commas and periods should follow each element accordingly. The use of the term “container” refers to the larger whole where the source is found, such as an article located in a magazine. 

Example of print book citation using core elements:


Caution: Depending on the screen size of your computer or device, the formatting in the examples may not display correctly. Note that all citations should be double-spaced and indented five spaces after the first line.

***Be careful to distinguish italicized sections in citations***

Book by one author  

Greenfield, Susan. Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains. Random House,


Book by two authors 

Haugen, David M., and Susan Musser. Media Violence. Greenhaven P, 2009.

Book by an organization or corporate author  

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. 5th ed., American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

Article in a reference book  

Richardson, James T. "New Religious Movements and the Law." Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in

America, edited by Eugene Gallagher and W. Michael Ashcraft, vol. 1, Greenwood P, 2006, pp. 65-83.

Book with an editor  

Eastin, Matthew S., editor. Encyclopedia of Media Violence. Sage Publications, 2013.

Work in an anthology  

Park, Ruth. “Playing Beatie Bow.” Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature, edited by Jack Zipes, et al., W.W. Norton, 2005, pp.


Article from a Periodical (Magazine)  

Specter, Michael. "DNA Revolution." National Geographic, vol. 230, no. 2, Aug. 2016, pp. 30-55.

 Article from a scholarly journal 

Howland, Robert H. "Oxazepam for the Treatment of Substance Abuse and Depression." Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and

Mental Health Services, vol. 54, no. 5, May 2016, pp. 21-24.

Article from "Taking Sides"  (3 or More Authors)
Williams, Kaylene, et al. "Product Placement Effectiveness: Revisited and Renewed." Taking Sides: Clashing

Views on Media and Society, edited by Alison Alexander and Jarice Hanson, McGraw-Hill, 2014, pp. 91-96.

Entry from the "Gale Literary" Publications (Literary Criticism Reprinted from a Book)

Hedrick, Joan D. "Journeying Across the Ghostly Wastes of a Dead World." Solitary Comrade: Jack London and His

Work, U of North Carolina P, 1982. Short Story Criticism, edited by Justin Karr, vol. 49, Gale, 2002, pp. 340-43.

 Newspaper article 

Trottman, Melanie, and Brody Mullins. “Labor Fears Partisan Defections.” The Wall Street Journal, 2 June 2016, p. A4.

Online Sources

Note:  MLA recommends including the web address or URL for online sources (do not include the http://).  Databases or web sites may offer “permalinks” which are stable URLs.  Use a DOI (digital object identifier) when available in a database.  MLA recommends including the date of access if the source does not have a publication date.  Check with your instructor about the need to include web addresses and/or access dates.


Periodical (Magazine) article from an online database - Academic Search Premier

Knopf, Alison. "Incarcerated Children More Likely to Have Experienced Trauma." Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, vol.

28, no. 13, 28 Mar. 2016, pp. 3-4.  Academic Search Premier,


Scholarly Journal article from an online database - Academic Search Premier

Pinsof, David, and Martie Haselton. "The Political Divide Over Same-Sex Marriage." Psychological Science, vol. 27, no. 4,

Apr. 2016, pp. 435-42. Academic Search Premier,


Newspaper article from an online database - Newspaper Source Plus and LexisNexis Academic

Kepner, Tyler.  “Bryant Turns Back the Clock, Then Exits.”  New York Times, 15 Apr. 2016, p. B12.  Newspaper Source



Svrluga, Susan. “George Mason Law School Officially Renamed in Honor of Antonin Scalia.” The Washington Post, 18

May 2016, p. B8. Lexis Nexis Academic, lnacui2api/api/version1/getDocCui?lni=5JT4-

NS51-DXXY31XX&csi=270944,270077,110 59,8411&hl=t&hv=t&hnsd=f&hns=t&hgn=t&oc=00240&perma=true.      

Online Database- Opposing Viewpoints in Content (Article Reprinted from a Magazine and a Topic Overview)

Edelman, Peter. "The State of Poverty in America." American Prospect, vol. 6, no. 23, 22 June 2012. Opposing Viewpoints

in Context,






“Minimum Wage.”  Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2015.  Opposing Viewpoints in





Article from an Online Database – CQ Researcher

Wanlund, William. "Modernizing the Nuclear Arsenal." CQ Researcher, vol. 26, no. 27, 29 July 2016, pp. 625-48. CQ


Article from an Online Database – Literature Resource Center (Literary Criticism Reprinted from a Book and a Magazine)

Henthorne, Tom. "Dystopia with a Difference: The Lessons of Panem and District 13." Approaching the Hunger Games

Trilogy, McFarland, 2012, pp. 108-24.   Literature Resource Center,


Maio, Kathi.  “Girl Power in Dystopia.”  The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, vol. 127, nos. 1-2, July-Aug.  2014,

p. 199.  Literature Resource Center,


Article from an Online Encyclopedia (Source with DOI and source with URL)

Strawson, Galen. “Free Will.” Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2011, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-V014-2.


"Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011".  Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2016,


Electronic/Digital Book Citation—EBSCOhost E-Books

Harrold, Stanley. Border War: Fighting Over Slavery Before the Civil War. U of North Carolina P, 2010. EBSCOhost

E-book, =343662&site=ehost-live.

Internet Source – Special Collection or Scholarly Project (No Publication Date on Source, Includes Access Date)

By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s.” Library of Congress, Accessed 9 June 2016.

Internet source - Document from professional site or information database

“Cancer Alternative Therapies.” MedlinePlus, United States National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 7

June 2016,

Posting of an Article at a Website-Blog

Smith, Dakota. “Election 2016 Round-up: Rematches, Rivalries, and Big Money.” The Sausage Factory, Los Angeles

Daily News, 8 June 2016,

Internet source - Article from a news service

Chrisafis, Angelique. “‘France is Not in Chaos’: PM Manuel Valls Says Labor Reforms Must Go Ahead.” Guardian, 2 June



Internet Source – Video from YouTube

D’Annunzio, Melissa Huseman.  “The Punishable Perils of Plagiarism.”  YouTube, TED-Ed, 14 June 2013,

MLA (9th ed.) style requires the use of parentheses (in-text citations) to cite sources rather than footnotes or endnotes. Use the following guidelines when applying in-text citations: 

  • To cite a source, include the author’s last name and the specific page number where the information was found in parenthesis after the quote or paraphrase (see Example 1).
  • Include the author’s name in the text of your paper and cite the page number in parenthesis (see Example 2).
  • To cite a source that does not have an author, include the first word or words of the title of the work and page number in parenthesis (see Example 3).
  • To cite a Web site or a source that does not have a page number, include the author's name in the text or at the end of the quote in parenthesis (see Example 4).

[Refer to MLA Handbook pages 227-230 and 231-286 for further details and examples].



In-text Citation Examples

Example 1

As had been the case with Dada nearly sixty years earlier, "the instigators of the revolutionary avant-garde in music comprised a tiny number of people" (Bracewell 242).

[In this example, both author's name and page number are placed in parentheses.]

Example 2

According to Bracewell, "the instigators of the revolutionary avant-garde in music comprised a tiny number of people" (242).

[In this example, the author’s name is used in the text, so only the page number is placed in parentheses.]

Example 3

Roxy Music’s style has been described as artistic rock that combined “wistful romantic irony with initially archaic and later subdued, lush rock” (“Roxy” 855).

[In this example, there is no author and the title of the article “Roxy Music” is shortened to “Roxy” and followed by the page number.]

Example 4

"Many of the best from the new crop of arty pop bands from that era owed a lot to Roxy's earlier incarnations, from the playfully quirky theatrical apparel to the emotionally detached, affected cool of some of their best music" (Clark).

[In this example, the quote is taken from a Web site without a page number designation and the author's name is included in parenthesis.]

In the "In-text Citation" examples, the author’s last name or brief title included in parentheses corresponds with the names and titles listed alphabetically on the “Works Cited” page. This format enables the reader to quickly identify the source and access the same materials when necessary.


Works Cited 

Bracewell, Michael. Re-make, Re-model: Becoming Roxy Music.

DaCapo, 2008.

Clark, Rick. "Roxy Music's Avalon." Mix. Penton Media, 6 Jan. 2004,


“Roxy Music.” New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll.

edited by Patricia Romanowski and Holly George-Warren,


How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism you need to recognize when credit is due. Types of plagiarism include direct copying, paraphrasing, and using another person's idea, opinion, or theory. Take a look at the table below:

You Must Give Credit When Using: Credit Is Not Needed When Using:
  • Summaries, paraphrases, or direct quotations from a source
  • Reprints of diagrams, charts, illustrations, or pictures Little-known facts
  • Other people's opinions
  • Results of other people's research (opinion polls, case studies, statistics, etc.)
  • Quotations or paraphrases from people you interview
  • Common knowledge (facts that can be found in many places and are likely to be known by many people)
  • Your own ideas, opinions, experiences, and conclusions
  • Your own research (surveys or observations)

Examples of Plagiarism

Example One: Paraphrasing from the original source

Original Text
(from Democracy in America By Brian P. Janiskee and Ken Masugi , 2003)
The influence of the entertainment industry on state politics is limited. Because the federal government has jurisdiction over the entertainment industry via the Federal Communications Commission, most of the entertainment industry’s lobbying efforts focus on federal issues. Also, many Hollywood stars parlay their high visibility into elected office or positions of political influence.
Unacceptable Paraphrase
The power of the entertainment industry on state and local politics is inadequate. The reason why is that the federal government has jurisdiction over the entertainment industry through the FCC, most of the entertainment industry’s lobbying efforts look at federal issues. Also, many Hollywood actors use their fame to move into elected offices or influence politicians.
Why is it Plagiarism?
  1. Only a few words were changed or the order of words was altered.
  2. The source of the text is not cited at the end.
Acceptable Paraphrase The influence the entertainment industry has on state politics is narrow. The entertainment industry however tends to have more of an impact on federal issues due to the fact that the entertainment industry has oversight from the Federal Communications Commission. "Hollywood stars parlay their high visibility into elected office or positions of political influence. The late Sonny Bono became mayor of Palm Springs and then was elected to Congress" (Janiskee 36).
Why is it Acceptable?
  1. The passage was rewritten in the writer's own words while maintaining the meaning of the original text.
  2. The source of the text is cited at the end.
Note: You can use paraphrase and quotations together. This is particularly useful for phrases that you do not wish to reword because it may alter the meaning.

Example Two
Quoting from the original source

Original Text
(from Conservatism an Anthology of Social and Political Thought from David Hume to the Present by Jerry Z. Miller, 1997).
Both American liberals and conservatives in the 1960s embraced the notion of a “culture of poverty,” a phrase coined by the anthropologist Oscar Lewis. To liberals, the concept suggested that the culture of the poor, which limited their upward social mobility, could be transformed by government agencies such as schools, enrichment programs for pre-school children, and job training programs.
Unacceptable Quote
"Both American liberals and conservatives in the 1960s embraced the notion of a culture of the poor. To the liberals, the concept suggested that the poor, who had limited social mobility, could rely on government programs to transform their social class."
Why is it Plagiarism?
  1. The passage has not been quoted accurately.
  2. The source of the quotation is not cited at the end.
Acceptable Quotation It is believed that American liberals during the 1960s embraced the phrase a "culture of poverty." "To liberals, the concept suggested that the culture of the poor, which limited their upward social mobility, could be transformed by government agencies such as schools, enrichment programs for pre-school children, and job training programs" (Miller 336).
Why is it Acceptable?
  1. The first sentence is an acceptable paraphrase.
  2. The second sentence is quoted accurately.
  3. The whole passage is cited.

APA Citation

Publication Manual ImageSource: American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

The APA (American Psychological Association) style is most widely used for college research papers in the social and behavioral sciences. There are two parts to creating a citation in the APA format. The first part consists of an "In-text citation" noting the author's name and page number in parentheses for each source used in writing your paper. The second part is a “References” list at the end of the paper that includes a citation for each source used in the in-text citations. The citations are arranged in alphabetical order and written in a standardized format for both print and online sources.

  • Additional information regarding why and when to cite sources can be found under "Understanding Plagiarism." The VVC Writing Center is also available to assist you with questions relating to writing papers, essays, and more.
  • Check out the APA style website for additional guidance. 
  • The examples listed on the separate tabs above were created by VVC librarians and are based on the 7th ed. of the APA Manual. These examples represent some of the most often used resources found in the VVC library. For further examples, please refer to copies of the manual located in the library stacks and reference collection (BF76.7 .P83 2020).

Caution: Depending on the screen size of your computer or device, the formatting in the examples may not display correctly. Note that all citations should be double-spaced and indented five spaces after the first line. 

***Be careful to distinguish italicized sections in citations***

Book by one author without DOI [APA 10.02.02]

Pisani, E. (2008). The wisdom of whores: Bureaucrats, brothels, and the business of AIDSW.W. Norton & Co.

Book by two authors  [APA 10.02]

Winchester, S., & Vannithone, S. (2001). The map that changed the world: William Smith

and the birth of modern geology. Harper Collins.

 Book with an editor  [APA 10.23]

Koeber, C., & MacLeod, K.G. (Eds.). (2002). Catastrophic events and mass extinctions:

 Impacts and beyond. Geological Society of America.

Book by an organization or corporate author with a DOI [APA 10.02.20]  

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American

            Psychological Association (7th ed.).

*When the same organization is listed as the author and the publisher, omit the publisher name.

 Article in a reference book  [APA 10.03.45]

DeGange, G. A. (1997). Sensory patterns in infants and young children: Introduction

and infancy. In S. Greenspan, S. Wielder, & J. Osofsky (Eds.), Handbook of

adolescent psychiatry (Vol. 1, pp. 43-54). John Wiley.

Chapter in a book  [APA 10.03.45]

Schultz, M. (1997). Microscopic investigation of excavated skeletal remains: A contribution to

 paleopathology and forensic medicine. In W. D. Haglund & M. H. Sorg (Eds.), Forensic

taphonomy (pp. 201-222). CRC Press.

Magazine article  [APA 10.1.15]

Goldstein, J. (2009, October). The new rules for looking younger. Health, 23(8), 40-42.

Scholarly journal article (continuous pagination)  [APA 10.01.03]

Kranioti, E. F., & Michalodimitrakis, M. (2009). Sexual dimorphism of the humerus in

contemporary cretans—a population-specific study and a review of the literature.

Journal of Forensic Sciences, 54, 996-1000.

Scholarly journal article (each issue in vol. starts with page 1)  [APA 10.01.03.]

Persson, D. I., & Ostwald, S. K. (2009). Younger residents in nursing homes. Journal of 

Gerontological Nursing, 35(10), 22-31.

 Article from the "Taking Sides" series  [APA 10.02.39]

Kuczewski, M., & McCruden, P. J. (2008). Informed consent: Does it take a village? The

problem of culture and truth telling. In C. Levine (Ed.), Taking sides: Clashing views on

bioethical issues (12th ed., pp. 34-41). McGraw-Hill.

 Newspaper article  [APA 10.01.03]

Byrd, R. (2008, April 6). Students take their science lessons outside. Daily Press, pp. A1, A6.

Citing Online Articles in APA

 Since online materials can potentially change URL's, APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available. DOI's are an attempt to provide stable links for online articles. They are unique to their documents and consist of a long alphanumeric code. Do not include database information for works obtained from most academic research databases or platforms because works in these resources are widely available. This includes journal articles, books, and book chapters from academic research databases. (9.34 page 299) Students should check with their instructor regarding citation requirements and formats.

  • Use the DOI number when provided for sources found on the Internet.
    Example:  doi:10.1542/peds.2007-2361

  • For works without DOIs from most academic research databases, do not include a URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available.
  • Use the URL for articles without a DOI and all other Internet sources.


 Magazine article from an online database - Academic Search Complete  [APA 10.01.03]

Shah, N. (2012, May 23). Teenage birthrates. Education Week, 31(32), 5.  

Scholarly journal article from an online database (volume with continuous pagination and DOI) Academic Search Complete [APA 10.01.01]

Fischer-Betz, R., Specker, C., Brinks, R., & Schneider, M. (2012). Pregnancy outcome in patients

with antiphospholipid syndrome after cerebral ischaemic events: an observational study.

Lupus, 21, 1183-1189. doi:10.1177/0961203312451335

Scholarly journal article from an online database (each issue in volume starts with page 1 and no DOI) Academic Search Complete [APA 10.01.03]

Mohammad, M., & Mohammad, H. (2012). Computer integration into the early childhood curriculum.

Education, 133(1), 97-116.  


Newspaper article online database - Newspaper Source Plus (no DOI) [APA 10.01.03]

Gelston, D. (2021, May 16). Larson repays school with Zoom visit. The Washington Post. 

Article from an online database - CQ Researcher  [APA 9.30 & APA 10.01.02]

Billitteri, T. (2009, October 16). Human spaceflight: Are missions to the moon and Mars

feasible? CQ Researcher, 19(36), 861-884.  

 Electronic Book Citation: eBook Collection (EBSCOHost)  [APA 10.02.21]

Black, B., & Weisel, G.J. (2010). Global warming. Greenwood.

Book chapter from an online database - Opposing Viewpoints in Content  [APA 10.03.39]

Paluzzi, P., & Kahn, A. (2009). Abuse in childhood impacts the sexual, reproductive, and

parenting behaviors of young men. In H. Williams (Ed.), Opposing viewpoints: Child


Article from an online encyclopedia  [APA 10.03.48]

Guignon, C. B. (2004). Existentialism. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy.

Online scholarly journal article with DOI (Digital Object Identifier)  [APA 10.01.01]

Johnson, C. P., Myers, S.M., & Council on Children with Disabilities. (2007). Identification and

evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120, 1183-1215.


Online magazine article  [APA 10.01.15]

Barrett, J. (2007, December 5). The price of childhood obesity. Newsweek.

Online Government or corporate website  [APA 10.04.50]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Skin cancer prevention.                                                                                      

Online source - No date on source  [APA 10.16.113]

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (n.d.). Climate observation and monitoring.

 Online source - Sponsored by institution or university  [APA 10.16.112]

Riddle, L. (2009, April 29). Biographies of women mathematicians