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Upward Bound--Summer 2022: Citation Help

Introduction to Research sources for Upward Bound '22

What Is a Citation?

As a researcher or reader, a citation is the information needed to locate the article (or book) you are interested in reading. As a writer, a citation is the information necessary to help verify your work. Your credibility as a writer and research can be seriously harmed by poor citation style. 

For articles from a database, a complete citation generally includes:

·         The author's name

·         The title of the article

·         The name of the magazine or journal in which it is located

·         The volume number of the magazine or journal (and sometimes the issue number)

·         The page numbers on which the article is located

·         The date when the article was published


Moskin, Julia.(Jan. 09, 2009). The All-Natural Taste That Wasn't. The New York Times. Retrieved from't. 


For books, a complete citation generally includes:

·         The author's name

·         The title of the book

·         The publication date

·         The book's publisher


Pollan, Michael. Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. Penguin Press, 2013. 

Thanks to Oregon State University librarians for allowing me to use and embellish on their materials. 

Citation Help

'APA style' is the preferred style guide for researchers working in many social sciences disciplines, like political science, sociology, education and  some of the so-called hard sciences (biology, etc.). It is also one of the most commonly taught citation styles in the world. 

Aside from purchasing a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, reading it, learning it, and living with it; there are a couple of other sources that could help you out when writing papers in APA style. Remember: the definitive answer to any APA style question is in the APA Manual. No website or outside help is ever as correct as the original source. 
But, it can be hard to always have your own copy around, so here are a few other sources that are definitive, but quick and helpful: 

 For fast online access to this information, try the Purdue University Online Writing Center's APA guide

Don't forget that MS Word also has a tab on the ribbon for 'References'. Right now, it has the APA 7th edition on it. It is mostly the same as the 6th edition with some differences for digital items. Check with your instructor if he/she has a preference that you work with the 6th or 7th editions, 
and always follow your instructor's preference for citation. 

And finally, there's Zotero--a free browser plugin that can help you collect and store your research information and transform it into a bibliography in many styles including the MLA. 

Zotero allows you to start gathering research immediately. Go to and use the Download button to get the latest version. You will want to register for a Zotero account and  login so you can sync your account and participate in groups, if you choose. Be sure to also add the your plugin of choice for word processing--Word or LibreOffice. Whenever  you update your version of Zotero, please also update your word processor plugin--they may not be compatible otherwise.

                         Quick Start Guide                                                                                              Support Guide (all topics)


Practice APA Style

Learning the basics of APA style doesn't have to be hard, in fact, it can be as easy as playing a are a few sites I recommend for learning MLA basics the easy way. As of this writing, both the 6th and 7th editions of the APA Manual are in common use. Remember: for any truly difficult questions, the best answers always appear in the Publication Manual! 


APA Citation game--test your knowledge!


Plagiarism (from the Latin for kidnapping, plagium) is a temptation for writers. Avoiding plagiarism is part of  your responsibility as a student, a writer, and a reader. 

What Is Plagiarism?

It is often defined as taking someone's else's work and passing it off as your own. That work may be someone's else idea, their wording of an idea, a fact, a quote, a photograph, a chart, etc. Giving credit where it is due makes you a good citizen as well as a good writer. One way to avoid plagiarism is to read over your paper and ask yourself, "Is each fact/idea/phrasing mine?" If it is not, cite that fact/idea/phrasing. Believe it or not, it is relatively easy for instructors to spot plagiarism in a paper. It is better to avoid any suggestion that the content in your paper is not entirely yours: you can do this by citing every fact/theory/quotation, etc in your paper. 

The APA website  has plenty to say about avoiding plagiarism