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English 111

Welcome to English 111


Welcome to the English 111 Library Guide! Your assignments will require you to support your writing with outside sources in a variety of formats, including books, articles, websites, visual aids, and also primary sources. You will also need to give appropriate credit to sources used in your writing by following correct citation style in either MLA or APA format.


Citing Sources

Why Cite Sources?

While writing your paper you might ask, why should I cite my sources?  Who is going to know anyway? 

Well, for one, you will know, and whether you want to believe it or not, your professor will know.  Citing your sources gives credit to the creator of the source materials.  So, If you use any part of a source, whether it is a direct quote, paraphrasing, or just using statistics or ideas from that source, you must cite the original source. 

When you conduct research for a paper, you will consult sources of information (books, journals, etc.) relevant to your topic. In your paper, you will use some of the words and/or ideas and maybe graphics from these sources. You must tell those reading your paper from which sources the words/ideas/graphics came. This is documentation.

If you do not document your sources, you are leading the reader to believe the ideas/words/graphics are your own when they are not. This is plagiarism.

There are many different styles for citing your sources.  In this LibGuide we will cover MLA (Modern Language Association) style, and APA (American Psychological Association) style.  It is important to know which style your professor wants you to use for your paper.  Refer to your course syllabus to find out or ask your professor.


 Documentation Style

 Two of the most common in academic communities are MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association). In addition to spelling out how to format your paper, both of these styles require two components:

  • Parenthetical (MLA) or in-text (APA) citations
  • Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA) page


Parenthetical or in-text citations:
Parenthetical or in-text citations are a way of telling the reader, “This bit of information came from this particular source on my Works Cited or References page.”  For example:

  • MLA    

According to Sánchez-Jankowski, “Youth gangs have been depicted as the trade schools for organized crime” (131).

  • APA    

According to Sánchez-Jankowski (1991), “Youth gangs have been depicted as the trade schools for organized crime” (p. 131).


Works Cited or References Page:
The Works Cited or References page is a list (in alphabetical order) of all sources that the writer used.  It appears at the end of the paper.  Examples:


Works Cited


Sánchez-Jankowski, Martin. Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society. Berkley: California UP, 1991. 




Sánchez-Jankowski, M. (1991). Islands in the street: Gangs and American urban society. Berkley: University of California Press.


One way to avoid plagiarism is to give credit to the original authors whose IDEAS you use in your writing.

There are several documentation and citation styles you can use.

Check with your teacher to make sure you are using the correct documentation style.

   Resources for source citation

  • NoodleTools logo




Credo Instruct - Information literacy tutorial

     Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)


The Myth of the Good Writer

The Myth of the Good Writer


"People tend to look at successful writers who are getting their books published and maybe even doing well financially and think that they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars, feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have a what a great story they have to tell; that they take a few deep breaths, push back their sleeves, roll their necks a few times to get all the cricks out and dive in, typing fully formed passages as fast as a court reporter. But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated. I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident." - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Consider the following sentences:

"I've just never been good at writing."

"I am not a great writer, so I am nervous about this class."

"My writing just doesn’t flow."

""I want to sound sophisticated, but I don’t feel like I am good at it."

If these sound like things you have said before, fear not: you are in the company of some of the greatest writers of all time.

As Anne Lamott elegantly reminds us, we too often think of writers as brilliant novelists, poets, or academics who can sit down and write beautifully without even trying. We tend to think, in other words, that great writing either comes naturally or not at all. However, even professional writers struggle. They struggle to begin writing, they struggle with writer’s block as they write, and they even struggle with the feeling that their finished work is inadequate.