How to Cite Sources

A man standing next to a computer wondering if he should use APA or MLA in his paper.Direct Quotations

When you use the exact words of someone else in your paper, this is known as a verbatim quote.  The words must be put inside quotation marks, and the source must be cited.


“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes” (Wilde, 1892).

NOTE: Direct quotations should be used sparingly.  No more than 10% of your paper should be made up of direct quotations.  When you want to use the idea but not the exact words, then use a paraphrase or summary.

Method of Citation

The citation may be made as an in-text citation, a footnote, or an endnote.

Example of in-text citation (APA):
According to Levy (1997), the tutor-tool framework is useful.

Example of a footnote or endnote (MLA or Chicago):
According to Levy, the tutor-tool framework is useful. 1

Bottom of page or chapter (Chicago):
1Michael Levy, Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization (New York: Oxford), 178. 

NOTE: In all cases, the source must also be included in the list of references at the end of your paper.

Style of Citation

The basic style guides are

IMPORTANT: Ask your teacher which style to follow for their course.

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