Internet research has become increasingly important as a source of information and ideas when writing research papers, term papers, and essays. As with printed materials, it is equally important to cite the online source of information or significant ideas.

“Generally speaking, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source” (Wikipedia (2011). Citation. Retrieved January 13, 2011 from Wikipedia: Put link here)

When you quote directly from another source, you must enclose the quoted material in quotation marks as illustrated above. You must then cite the source of the cited item either inline in a parenthetical citation or in a footnote.

Two of the most popular citation formats are:

The style of the American Psychological Association (APA)

The style of the Modern Language Association (MLA)

Using the example above, we know the following information about the cited article:

Author name: unknown Title: Quote Date of first publication: unknown Date of last update: January 13, 2011 10:40 AM Access date: January 13, 2011 Source: Wikipedia URL: Link here.

Internet citation using APA format

To cite a document from an Internet site, begin the citation with the author’s name, if given. Follow this with the date of publication or the date of the last update in parentheses and then the title of the work. Continue with the name of the project, site, or database in italics. Follow this with “Retrieved” followed by the date retrieved and the word “from”, followed by the URL of the specific work or document.

Using the example above:

(January 13, 2011). Quote. On Wikipedia. Retrieved on January 13, 2011, from Put link here.

Internet citation using the MLA format

To cite a document from an Internet site, begin the citation with the author’s name and, in quotation marks, the title of the work. If the author is not given, begin the citation with the title of the material, enclosed in quotation marks. Continue with the Date Posted (or the date the page was last modified). Follow this with the access date. Finally follow with the URL enclosed in angle brackets ().

Using the example above:

“Quote”. Wikipedia. January 13, 2011 10:40 a.m. Accessed: January 13, 2011. Link here.

When directly citing online sources or paraphrasing ideas online, it is very important to cite the source of the information above using one of the formats described for a couple of reasons:

It gives the real author credit for their work.

It will help you avoid being accused of plagiarism.

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