Citing Your Sources with MLA/Avoiding Plagiarism

The MLA (Modern Language Association) style is the most commonly used writing and citation style at Valley Catholic Schools. There are other styles that you may use in college, such as APA and Chicago. In general, citation styles require you to identify the basic elements of a source (author, title, publisher, year published, etc.). The most obvious differences are the order in which those elements are given and punctuation. If you understand how MLA citation works, you will easily be able to adjust to the other styles.

Citation Generators



  • What is Plagiarism? | For students: Describes plagiarism, gives examples of plagiarizing, and helps student realize when to cite. From Duke University.
  • Plagiarism Awareness | Another site explaining plagiarism and describing how/when to cite a source.
  • Prevent Plagiarism & Develop Critical Thinking | A PDF guide for teachers on how to prevent plagiarism & tips on how to develop research projects that develop critical thinking skills.

Plagiarism Detectors For Teachers

  • The Plagiarism Checker | Requires that a whole paper be entered. Short phrases will not work.
  • Viper | Downloadable program that’s accurate, easy and free

MLA Citation Guides & Examples

  • MLA Cheat Sheet | This PDF was created by North Seattle Community College. It gives examples for citing both print and web sources (including blogs and YouTube videos).
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition | Copies of this book are available in the library at the Writer’s Resources table and on the shelves (REF 808.02 MLA).
  • MLA List of Works Cited by Diana Hacker | The information on this site appears in the print booklet A Pocket Style Manual, 5th ed., by Diana Hacker. Find it on the shelves at REF 808 HAC.
  • MLA Quick Reference Guide | This PDF was created by Penn State. Print copies are available in the library at the Writer’s Resources table.
  • The OWL at Purdue | This website provides guidance for writing research papers, as well as proper citation of nearly all sources.