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FYS: Language Controversies (Heinz): Citing Sources

Citing Your Sources

By citing your sources, you:

  • give credit to the authors of your sources (avoiding plagiarism)
  • allow your readers the opportunity to check your sources

MLA Style

Button linking to MLA Citation Guide

MLA Citations

MLA Style has changed a bit with the 8th edition to be more flexible and clear. With respect to citing, instead of rigid rules, the new guidelines simply focus on giving your readers the information they need to find your sources.

See the Citation Guides LibGuide or Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) for help with citing your sources. 

Please consult the MLA Handbook even if you use a program to create citations for you.  The citations created by these programs frequently are close, but not exactPrint copies of the MLA Handbook are available in the library.

Search Tool Citation Generators

Most search tools and databases have options for creating citations (they often need some tweaking, but are a good start)

search tool citation creators


Citation Management

Save your energy. Learn how citation management tools can make your life easier


How to Avoid Plagiairism

Understanding Plagiarism

The Butler University Student Handbook describes University policies regarding plagiarism.

If you need help with paraphrasing in a way that avoids plagiarism, you might want to try this tutorial.

Help with your writing assignments

Please take advantage of the resources available to you at the Writers' Studio when you are working on writing assignments.


Some citations include a DOI (digital object identifier) which can be very helpful for finding an article again later.  If you add to the front of the DOI, you will create a link to the article.  For example if the DOI is 10.1080/2331186X.2017.1371822 , the link would be

If you are off campus, but the libraries have access to the article (and it is not available to the public), you would need to add to the front of the link in order to get prompted to log in with your Butler credentials.  The link for the example above would then be: 

This may be more than you want to know, so just let me know if you have any trouble accessing an article.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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