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Documenting and Citing

Page history last edited by Roberta Tipton 13 years, 9 months ago

Documenting and Citing


Roberta L. Tipton, Dana Library

Academic Integrity Workshops



Learning Objectives


After this class, you will be able to:


     1. Find quality research resources from the Rutgers University Libraries.



     2. Document what you find as you go and prepare a preliminary bibliography (List of  Works Cited) in MLA format from database output.


     3. Take notes in a way that avoids plagiarism.


     4. Construct accurate in-text citations.



Ways to Create "Automatic" Bibliographies


  1. RefWorks


Format and manage your List of Works Cited, working bibliography, and annotated bibliography with RefWorks.   RefWorks suggests that you pick a new password for yourself, something different from your Net ID. This gives you just a bit of added protection from hackers. Activate the RefGrab-It feature to import information on websites. (See the Tools menu for download instructions.)



More info on RefWorks:




RefWorks: Logging in as a Rutgers User (one of a series of YouTube videos from librarians at the Library of Science and Medicine, Rutgers)



     2. Database Output


The following database families, among others, will produce very good MLA bibliographies: Ebsco, CSA Illumina, H.W. Wilson, and ProQuest. You must always check their output against your MLA reference manuals to make sure all the elements are correct.


A "working bibliography" is a list of the sources you found that you believe are most likely to give you the information you need.  (Adapted from Miller 218-9.)


As you use the items, you can type in comments about each in a notes folder. Or, you can turn one copy of your working bibliography into your notes page while a second copy forms the basis of the List of Works Cited. With electronic documents, both of these variations and more are possible.


Organizing and Taking Notes to Avoid Plagiarism  (Adapted from Miller 219-20) 


  • Make separate folders in your word processor or email account for each paper or project.

  • Document what you find as you go by sending references, abstracts (article summaries), and even full text to yourself as you discover them.

  • Keep all your downloads, output from periodical indexes and databases, lists of sources, electronic documents, and notes you write for each project together in the same folder (Miller 419).

  • For your own protection, keep your searches, working bibliographies, note files, and versions of the paper until you receive your final grade for the course.

  • Take notes in a way that automatically avoids plagiarism. All you have to do is:


a) Key every one of your notes to a source and page number; and  


b) Differentiate clearly between the material you have quoted and your own words as you take notes.


Here is an example of a bibliography entry using a print periodical article in MLA 2009 format:


Miller, Kristin. "Developing Good Research Habits: Encourage Students to Create a Working Bibliography Online." College & Research Libraries News. 61 (2000): 418-20. Print.


Your notes page might look like this:


Miller, 2000 [source]


p. 419 "Using e-mail to collect citations allows the researcher to reformat them into a working bibliography on the computer and operating system that will be used to do the majority of the word processing." [Quotation, fact or even paraphrase and exact page number]


My note:  You should save your electronic searches in your email, even if you print them out somewhere for convenience. [These are your own words and thoughts about what you have read. Invent your own code if you wish, but be sure to label your own words to keep them separate from what you have read. If you used a paraphrase/explanation in your own words, you would still give it an in-text citation, just like the direct quotation.]


What Needs to Be Cited  (Reformatted from an unpublished lesson by Dr. Carter Daniel, Rutgers Business School)


"You must acknowledge not just


  1. Direct quotations, but

  2. Paraphrases of what somebody else said even though you've re-phrased it in your own words,

  3. Ideas you've picked up from a source, and even

  4. Any fact that isn't common knowledge.


In short, you have to acknowledge everything you've gotten from a source." 



List of Works Cited


Daniel, Carter A. Unpublished lesson, 8 Dec. 2009.


Miller, Kristin. "Developing Good Research Habits: Encourage Students to


Create a Working Bibliography Online." College & Research Libraries News. 61 (2000): 418-20. Print.



Tips on In-text (Parenthetical) Citations


MLA 2009 In-text Citations: The Basics (Purdue Online Writing Laboratory (OWL))



Create MLA Parenthetical Citations (The Writing Center@The University of Wisconsin – Madison)



A special note on in-text citation.


Tips on Annotated Bibliographies


Information about annotated bibliographies in MLA format can be found at:  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/01/  .  


Look over on the left of the annotated bibliographies page for example and samples links for annotated bibliographies.


More Sources on MLA Style


MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue University Online Writing Laboratory)

Based on the print MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition [Dana Reference Desk #276]and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition[DANA REF LB 2369 .G53 2009]from the Modern Language Association. [http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/]


Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style

Up-to-date information from the Modern Language Association itself. [http://www.mla.org/style_faq]


MLA Page [http://libguides.rutgers.edu/mla]


If you need more help, please contact us:


Roberta Tipton




Dana Reference Desk


Open 7 days during spring and fall semesters; hours at



Ask a Librarian  (Email Reference Service)



Updated October 2010










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