One of the most important things you can do as you complete your information searches is to keep track of where you found information. Many times, someone will ask "Where'd you find that?" or "Who said that?" and a list of sources you use will help you to track that down more easily.

"Back in the day" instructors were very stringent about following guidelines for writing lists of the books, magazines and journals that researchers used to write their papers. This was for several reasons, but mostly so that someone who read that work and wanted to find more information could do it without having to contact the writer. There are multiple ways to cite sources depending on the type of writing and researching you're doing. The school district has chosen to use MLA (Modern Language Association) style for student work. In college you may be asked to use one of the others: Turabian, APA (American Psychological Association) or Chicago Manual of Style. Each format requires different ordering and punctuation but all include the same basic information:
  • author
  • title (of work or article)
  • title (of reference book or magazine if an article)
  • place of publication
  • publisher
  • date
  • page numbers
  • URL (if an internet or databases source)

One of the most helpful things on the internet for researchers like you who don't want to be bothered with the tiny details of order and punctuation are online citation builders. You enter the information above and the website will create your source list for you.

My newest favorite is BibMe because you can start by entering just the author, title, or ISBN of your source and it will search for the book or article you used and fill in fields for you automatically. It will also create the list for you in alphabetical order.

Other citation tools include: