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CMP102 - Composition 2 - LeBlanc: MLA 8 (Citations)

Integrating Sources

We can integrate these ideas, perspectives or findings into our scholarly conversations by:

  1. directly quoting the contributor (including statistics and data)

  2. paraphrasing - using the original thoughts of a contributor, but rephrasing them in your own words with often a similar structure and length

  3. summarizing - taking major talking points from the contributor, reducing the size of the content shared (think about creating presentations)

The contribution of visual research to the conversation (other than our own) like the use of a table, graph, figure or image must also be acknowledged through citation.

Citation is a Two Part Process

When working on academic research projects and contributing to conversations through online forums, papers, or presentations; convention also dictates the use of citation through a two part process:

  1. Acknowledgment of the source with a brief notation after you use it in the body of your work (a.k.a. parenthetical or in-text citation). This brief notation links your audience to the second part of your citation.

  • MLA style uses the author-date system

  1. A more detailed description of the source that is located in the Works Cited page at the end of your work. This detailed citation allows your audience to find the creator and source and reuse the information themselves.

  • Common elements of a detailed citation are Author, Date of Publication, Title of Work and Source Data (i.e. information on how to retrieve the source).

Note: The first word(s) in your brief citation should match exactly the first word in your detailed citation.


The Library subscribes to RefWorks.  RefWorks is a management tool to help you import, organize, create bibliographies and export references (or citations).  To learn how to create an account and use Refworks to help with citations visit our Cite Research page.

MLA Style Guides

The NSCC Libraries own these style guides in print that can be used in the Library. Ask a Librarian if you need help locating them.

MLA Tutorials

These tutorials may provide additional help:

Recommended MLA Websites