Citing Your Sources

LSS Students are responsible, and citing/referencing your sources is part of your responsibility as a student. Citing (or referencing) your sources means giving credit whenever you've used someone else's words or ideas in your work.

This means books, articles, websites, textbooks, reference books, interviews newspaper articles or any other information sources. You should always write down the sources you use when gathering information for your research, and provide your teachers with a bibliography of all of your sources.

At the LSS Library, we can help you do this!

On this page, you will find:

  • What is Plagiarism?

  • Citing Your Sources - Overview

  • Common citation formats: MLA & APA

  • Citing Your Sources - Tools

  • In-Text Citations (MLA & APA)

  • Quick Links

  • Other Tools


What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs anytime you use someone else’s work in your work without giving the original author proper credit. Plagiarism can be intentional - meaning, it’s been done on purpose - cutting & pasting directly from the internet, for example. At LSS, we have two main concerns with intentional plagiarism:

  1. It’s dishonest. Plain and simple.

  2. When you cut-and-paste, you aren’t showing your teacher that you’ve actually learned anything. Cutting and paste does not show any evidence of learning and any cut-and-pasted work cannot be used to assess student learning.

Plagiarism can also be unintentional. Unintentional plagiarism can occur (sometimes by accident) when a student doesn’t use the proper format to cite/reference their sources - often because they don’t know how. We can help you properly cite/reference your sources to avoid plagiarism altogether.

Citing Your Sources - Overview

When you're researching and taking notes, make sure the first thing you do is record the source you're taking notes from. This will make your life easier later! At the end of your project/paper/presentation, you'll need to compile all your sources into a Bibliography page.

Each source = one entry in your bibliography

For each source, you need to record:

  • title and author

  • publisher

  • date and place of publication

  • date web-based information was accessed

Library databases such as Worldbook Online, Encyclopedia Britannica and Gale Databases all feature ready-made bibliography entries for all articles. Just copy and paste! 

Generally speaking - for high school students, there are two "styles” for citing your sources that you may be asked to use or come across in your studies:

APA: American Psychology Association

MLA 8th Edition: Modern Language Association

Typically - APA is most often used in Psychology and Science courses; MLA 8 is most often used in English and Social Studies courses.

Check out Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) for more information about formatting your bibliography. Your bibliography page is called a Reference List in APA or a Works Cited Page in MLA 8.


Common Citation Formats MLA 8 vs. APA (click through image for full size infographic)


Citing Your Sources: Tools

How to Build Your Bibliography from Scratch

Heather Lyons (Teacher-Librarian, Dover Bay) created these fill-in-the-blank forms to help you build your bibliography in MLA 8 or APA, depending on your course & teachers’ preference.

Print as a PDF or make a copy of the Google Doc version to edit using your Learn68 account. Thank you, Ms. Lyons for sharing!


In-Text Citations - MLA 8 (click through images below to see full-size infographic)


In-Text Citations: APA

This section is under construction! But in general, an APA in-text citation consist of the authors last name, and the year of publication

Example: (Girard, 2018).

Other Tools

Citation Generator/Management Tools

EasyBib to generate citations/references for websites, books, videos/films, journals & more.

Purdue OWL - learn the ins and outs of quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing & avoiding plagiarism.

Citation Builder - a free tool to build citations in MLA or APA. 

Zotero - a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite and share your research sources