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The Canon and the Archive (SPAN 5220/7220): Integrating and Citing

How to cite

Writing Methods

There are three main effective ways to use the work of others in your writing:  


Brief presentation, in your own words, of another author's main points as related to your writing.

Useful practice when:

You need only short passages or sentences to convey the meaning

You wish to draw your readers’ attention to particular points, conclusions or observations



Your interpretation of another author's words or ideas, usually shorter passages or paragraphs.

Useful practice when:

Meaning is more important than exact phrasing

Ideas or resources are more important than exact wording

Simplifying concepts will help your reader

Images & sounds



Your use of an author's exact words, terms, or phrases in direct quotes. 

Useful practice when:

Author’s words are very effective or significant

Author is a recognized authority

Exactness, accuracy, or conciseness matter

You are pointing to or analyzing the original text

Mountain Top By Alice Noir for the Noun ProjectTip: Summarizing is also a good note taking strategy and allows you to test your understanding. The more deeply you understand a topic, the better you will be at paraphrasing and quoting.

Read actively! Take notes and make annotations. Learn more about when to paraphrase and when to quote.

MLA Overview



Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Lippincott, 1960.

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.

 Learn more:  Citing Books



Llanera, Tracy. "Rethinking Nihilism: Rorty Vs. Taylor, Dreyfus and Kelly." Philosophy & Social Criticism, vol. 42, no. 9, 2016, pp. 937-950.

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.


Lukainoff, Greg and Jonathan Haidt. "The Coddling of the American Mind." The Atlantic, 1 Sept. 2015, pp. 42-52.

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

 Learn more:  Citing Periodicals



University Libraries: University of Colorado, Boulder. University of Colorado Boulder, Access 1 Jul. 2024.

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

 Learn more:  Citing Electronic Sources



* Note: in works cited pages, the second and subsequent lines of citations are indented by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent. Learn more about formatting.

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