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There are several documentation styles. If you are writing a psychology paper, you may use one style; if you are writing a paper for a history class, you might use another. Ask your teacher or tutor which documentation style they want you to use in your paper. Here are five very common styles (note: the following links are live; if you follow one of them, be sure to return to "Do Your Own" by using the "back" button on your browser, to preserve any writing you have done in the boxes on that page.): Students in the humanities generally use the MLA style of documentation. In MLA style, you document your sources in two separate ways:
  1. Within the body of the paper, use in-text citations.
  2. At the end of the paper, provide a list of sources titled Works Cited.
Now, let's look at the way we cite sources when we paraphrase.

There are two ways to do it. Here are examples of the two kinds of paraphrase citations:

  • Because young people today are cut off from history, the role of the historian is even more important than it was in the past. (Hobsbawm 3)
    In this case, the name and page numbers are cited in parenthesis.
  • Eric Hobsbawm claims that young people today are cut off from history, and because of this he believes the role of historian is even more important today than it was in the past (3).
    In this case, the name is cited in text and page numbers are cited in parenthesis.

(Notice, in the second example, we use the signal phrase "Eric Hobsbawm claims that" to shift from the source into the paraphrase. If you'd like more information on signal phrases, we have some tips for you.)

Later, at the end of the paper, you must include information about the title of the book, the publisher, and the date of publication. This information is known as a Works Cited list.

For more full explanations of the various documentation styles, follow the links at the top of this page.


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