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  • 2. Cite Your Research

    This will help you find books at the Long Beach City College Libraries.

    Get the Citations!

    How this Guide Can Help You

    You're probably needing to cite your sources in MLA or APA, wondering how to do that and where and when to cite... 

    Don't worry, we've all been there. 

    Your team of librarians have developed this guide for you to use to learn more about citation and also just find out how to get it done. 

    Pasting Citations into Bibliographies

    There are essentially two places you will need to "cite" information from other authors. 

    1. In-text in your paragraphs
    2. At the end of your paper in the bibliography

    The bibliography is the long list of articles, books, and other resources that you used to substantiate your research.

    Watch this brief video to learn how to pull citations from OneSearch and LBCC databases into your bibliography.

    Pre-formatted Citations

    When you conduct research in the .edu domain of an academic library, you will have access to helpful features like pre-formatted citations.

    One of the coolest features that the academic databases have to offer is the ability to copy and paste a pre-formatted citation into your bibliography or works cited. You can find the ability to grab the MLA, APA, or Chicago citation for anything in the OPAC simply by looking for the quotation mark symbol (“) that appears in a number of places.

    Think of the pre-formatted citations as the checkout stand in a store. Sometimes it is off to the side. Sometimes it is in the back. Sometimes it is right up front. 

    Be on the look out for these key indicators when trying to find the pre-formatted citations:

    1. A button that literally says "Cite"
    2. A quotation mark ( " ) button

    This feature may also be hidden under another layer. For instance, in InfoBase databases you have to find the button that says "Page Tools" before you will see the citation. Other times, the citation is included at the end of the article all the way at the bottom of the page!

    The moral of the story is that you will definitely be able to save time and hassle if you take a moment to understand the layout of the database and where to find useful features, like subject terms and preformatted citations. 

    Check out this introductory video to learn more about how and where to find citations in OneSearch and academic databases.

    Manual Made Easy

    One great thing about researching in OneSearch and the academic databases is that you can find pre-formatted citations that are easy to copy/paste into your bibliography. 

    If you are finding sources on the World Wide Web or without publication information, you will need to build the citation for you bibliography manually. 

    Manual citation creation can be expedited with a few citation generator tools found online. Here are two of the best, recommended by the LBCC Librarians.

    Citation Basics

    Citation Styles

    At Long Beach City College you will be working primarily with the...

    • Modern Language Association (MLA) style
      • for students within the language arts, cultural studies, and other humanities disciplines.
    • American Psychological Association (APA) style
      • if you are studying Social Sciences like Psychology, Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, and Criminology; or also Business and Nursing,
    • Chicago Style is for student of literature, history, and the arts.

    When writing an academic paper, your professor will ask you to cite your sources.  This requires you to use in-text citations which link to information about your sources on an end page known as a bibliography, works cited, or reference list. The in-text citations, end pages, and the paper itself require specific formatting based on the citation style used.

    You will put you citation into a bibliography. Your citation will have all the information needed to trace back to the original research, including author, title, publisher, journal, volume, issue, and page numbers!

    What Is a Citation?

    A citation contains important pieces of information about a primary or secondary source. These pieces of information, called elements, include items such as the name of the author, the title of an article, the title of a book or magazine, the place of publication, the publisher, and the date of publication. The citation identifies the source and enables a reader to locate it.

    There are two types of citations: an in-text citation, and a reference list citation. An in-text citation is used within the body of your paper, and a reference list citation is used at the end of your paper.

    "Citing Sources." Issues & Controversies, Infobase, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

    What Is a Bibliography?

    Your bibliography is an alphabetized list of sources of information you used in researching and writing your paper. Each entry on the list of sources you consulted is a citation.

    Depending on which citation style you use, your bibliography may be titled by a different name such as:

    • Works Cited (a list of sources you cited in your article)
    • Annotated Bibliography (a bibliography that also contains a brief description and evaluation of each source)
    • Works Consulted (a list of all sources you used when writing your paper)
    • Selected Bibliography (a list of only your most important or heavily used sources)
    • List of References (a list of sources you cited in text)

    "Citing Sources." Issues & Controversies, Infobase, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

    Professional Associations Own the Citation Styles

    There are three main organizations that oversee and control how citations are created in the areas of the humanities and social sciences.

    Each association creates a Style Guide which is a manual that dictates the rules that scholars must follow when they are inserting in-text citations, bibliographies, and formatting research papers and studies.

    1. The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Guide ensures that all humanities scholars play by the same rules.
    2. The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide accomplishes the same thing, but for scholars in the fields of social science and psychology.
    3. The Chicago Style governs the style rules by which historians can cite and publish their research.

    Each Style Guide provides rules for peer-reviewed journals to uphold and expectations for authors to follow when they submit their research for publication.

    The Style Guides also ensure that the scholars in these fields can read and understand citations. Similar to creating universal standards with a measuring system, the style guides allows practitioners, scholars, and librarians to more effectively access information.

    The Style Guides are actually published in manuals that students can check out through the Long Beach City College Library and detailed breakdowns of sources and formatting can be accessed through the LBCC Library Research Study Guides.

    Style guides are also dissected and made accessible by educational organizations like the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) which is referenced and extracted numerous times throughout this LibGuide.

    There are other organizations with their own citation styles such as the Harvard tyle and the American Medical Association citation style. These are specialty styles that one will use when they progress further into their academic careers. However it is entirely possible to use MLA or APA through your entire educational career. Even those who conduct dissertations in the humanities and social sciences will continue to use MLA and APA when they earn their doctorate degrees.


    Types of Quotations AKA In-Text Citations

    As a researcher and writer you will be citing and synthesizing the ideas you find in the research literature. You will incorporate these ideas in two main ways, and need to do so according to the rules for the style you are using.

    In-Text citations are how you can insert direct quotes, paraphrased thoughts, and long quotations from others' bodies of research. In-text citations should be brief and supplement claims and ideas that you are already making.

    "Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper" (OWL, 2022).

    • Direct Quotation
      • A direct quotation reproduces word-for-word material taken directly from another author’s work, or from your own previously published work.
        • i.e. As Karl Marx wrote, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” This shows that orthodox Communists believe that the conflict between rich and poor is the driving force in world history.
    • Indirect Quotation
      • An indirect quote (or indirect quotation) is the idea or fact taken from an outside source and used in a second piece of writing. The student uses his own words, but the idea or facts comes from the original source.

        • i.e. As Marx made clear in his 1848 book, all human history can be explained as a conflict between the rich and the poor.

    American University of Iraq. "Questions and Paraphrasing," (2022)

    Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

    Citations are needed:

    • To acknowledge the source of information for any ideas, quotations, or images that you used.
    • Claiming that another person's ideas are your own or failing to acknowledge sources that you used is called plagiarism. 
    • To provide enough information about the source you used to help a reader easily find it.
    • To show that you have gathered and used information about your topic and have conducted research.
    • To protect your own original ideas and words. When you cite others' work, you make clear which ideas are yours and which came originally from other sources.

    "Citing Sources." Issues & Controversies, Infobase, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020