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COMM 101 - Understanding Mass Media - Dorsey - Spring 2021: Citing and Plagiarism

Citing Your Sources

You will use MLA style for your paper.

When you are ready to cite the sources you have used for your research, visit the library's homepage and click RESEARCH > CITATION HELP for the guides prepared by the Library and Writing Tutorial. It will offer example citations for the most common source types. You can also use a Citation tool such as Noodle Tools, provided by the Library. 

If you need help, ask a librarian or submit your question to Ask us anything!

Citation Examples

You need to cite where your information came from in the body of your paper (in-text/parenthetical citations) AND on a Works Cited page at the end.


Article in a library database:

Guilmette, Thomas J., Laurie A. Malia, and Michael D. McQuiggan. "Concussion understanding and management among New England high school football coaches." Brain Injury, vol. 21 no. 10, 2007, pp. 1039-1047. Academic Search Complete, 

In-Text Citation: (Guilmette, Malia and McQuiggan 1045)

Article on a website:

"Public Agrees on Obesity's Impact, Not Government's Role." Pew Research Center, 12 Nov. 2013, Accessed 20 March 2017.

In-Text Citation: ("Obesity's Impact")


"Denmark." Central Intelligence Agency, 8 Sept. 2017, Accessed 25 Sept. 2017.

(Since the author (Central Intelligence Agency) and the website (Central Intelligence Agenc) are the same, you can skip citing it as the author.)

In-Text Citation: ("Denmark") OR if you are using more than one document titled Denmark (CIA, "Denmark").

Print Book: 

Ronson, Jon. So You've Been Publicly Shamed. Riverhead Books, 2015.

In-Text Citation: (Ronson 62)

Electronic Book in a library database:

Ricke, LaCrystal D. The Impact of Youtube on U.S. Politics. Lexington Books, 2014. ebrary,

In-Text Citation: (Ricke 67)

Video Source:

Particlefever. Directed by Mark A. Levinson, produced by Mark A. Levinson, Andrea Miller, Carla Solomon and  David E. Kaplan, Ro*Co Films Educational, 2014.

In-Text Citation: (Levinson, Particlefever)


Deering, Kate, narrator. "Hypatia." Women in Math: The Limit Does Not Exist, episode 6, 10 Nov. 2016, 

In-Text Citation: (Deering)

Statistical Table:

U.S. Census Bureau. "HI:01: Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Status by Selected Characteristics, 2015." Current Population Surveys for Health Insurance Coverage, 25 August 2016. Accessed 20 March 2017.

In-Text Citation: ("Current Population Survey" Table 7)

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when you use another person's verbal or written words or text in your own work without appropriately documenting the source of the borrowed words or text. The borrowed text could come from a variety of places, such as a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a website, or even another student's paper.

The WCC Academic Honesty Policy states:

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research, or writing as your own.  Examples include:

  1. Copying another person’s actual words without both the use of quotations and documentation.

  2. Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without documentation.

  3. Using information that is not considered common knowledge without acknowledging the source.

  4. Using a paper writing “service” or having a friend write the paper for you.

Note:  The guidelines that define plagiarism also apply to information secured on internet websites.  Internet references must specify precisely where the information was obtained and where it can be found. 

You may think that citing another author’s work will lower your grade.  In some unusual cases this may be true, if your instructor has indicated that you must write your paper without reading additional material.  But in fact, as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your thinking.  Your professors write this kind of paper all the time.  The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else’s begins.

No matter where the text comes from, it must be documented accurately. Accurate documentation means that you must follow the MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) rules for documentation.

Noodle Tools

WCC Writing Center

While the librarians can help you find sources for your paper, visit the Writing Center (part of the Academic Support Center) for help with writing and organizing your paper. This semester, tutors are available to work with you remotely and through ZOOM. Make an appointment with them through the links below. 


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