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Information Literacy

Citing Sources

The Credible Hulk Always Cites His SourcesWriters must be credited for their work and their writing.

Not to do so is to plagiarize.

Plagiarism is defined as intentionally or unintentionally using the ideas, language, or work of another without acknowledgement that such material is not one's own.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source. In research papers, any source information that you provide in an in-text citation must correspond to a source in your Works Cited page.

The databases often provide the citation information for the articles in all formats. Look for it!

Image from Reasonist Products

In addition, note that some research databases, such as ProQuest, and free online resources, such as Wikipedia, offer suggested citations in a variety of styles.

 you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source. There are several common systems in use. At Otis, the most common style is MLA (which is short for Modern Language Association), but you may come across others. There are style manuals for each style that you can use.

Citation Guide Using MLA Style


Includes a section on how to cite different types of sources, including oral histories and YouTube comments.

Annotations: The Otis Way


Annotations done the Otis Way are a detailed explanation of your evaluation process. They may be required for some assignments.

Citation Generators

NOTE: Sometimes, these automatically generated citations accidentally leave out information. Review the citations and make the necessary corrections.


Some of our databases -- such as EBSCOhost, ProQuest, JSTOR, and Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints -- provide pre-formatted citations! Look for a link or button called "Cite" or "Citation."

Example: ProQuest databases

Screenshot of Proquest Cite Tool

Free Online Generators

Many of these services also offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

MLA Paper Templates

Annotation Builder

Use this FORM to help you write your annotations.

It is designed to help remind you what needs to be included.

Rubric for Information Literacy

Getting Help

The Library offers a variety of information literacy instruction. Instructors may request an in-class workshop for Annotations and/or Citations by filling out this form.

The Student Learning Center (SLC) also provides drop-in tutoring. Be sure sure to check their current hours here.

You may also visit the Library for citation help, or use the Ask a Librarian form on the Library website.

See also:

Writing Help

Need help signing up or using it? Visit the Grammarly@EDU Guide.

Purdue OWL

OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab logo

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) has excellent online manuals for these commonly used citation styles:

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