Graphic Arts, Communication, & Design

Your guide to print and electronic graphic arts, graphic communication, and design sources for STCC students.

Handbooks for Citing Sources

Rainbow Obstacle

Moriz Jung, Rainbow Obstacle (Hindernis Regenbogen), 1911. Color lithograph. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Why cite sources?

When writing research papers students are often required to create a "resources used" page, a "bibliography," or a "list of works cited."  This guide is designed to help you with this process.  For more complete information about citations and plagiarism, consult these guides: 



  Why cite sources?  To give the author(s) credit for the original work and to enable your readers to consult the same sources.  If any information you use in your paper, whether a direct quotation or an idea, comes from someone other than yourself, you MUST cite the source.


"Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas... Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution." (From the citation guide of the University of California, Berkeley, available online here.)

There are several styles used for citing sources, but the two main styles used at STCC are the Modern Language Association style (MLA) and the American Psychological Association style (APA).  Other styles that you might encounter in your academic career include the Chicago Style and the Bluebook style (used mainly for legal material).  Typically, citation in just about any style will include: the author(s) name(s); the title of the resource used; the year of publication; the place of publication.  If you are citing a Web site, your citation additionally will typically include the url address of the Web site, and the date you viewed the Web site.

Use information ethically

1. Avoid plagiarism!
  • “Plagiarism occurs when the creative work of another individual is imitated or used without authorization, or when the creative work of someone else is represented as one's own work." From the STCC Student Handbook.

2. Cite ALL of your sources (including images) using:

  • Quotations
  • In-text references
  • A bibliography or works cited page

3. Some Tips:

  • Avoid cutting and pasting.
  • Basic, known facts are OK to use (e.g., Washington was our 1st President.)
  • Even if you are paraphrasing someone else's ideas using your words (rather than quoting), you must cite.
  • Give yourself time for the writing process.

When in doubt, cite!

Our Plagiarism Policy

Fom the STCC Student Handbook:

Academic Honesty Policy (Plagiarism)

Communication of knowledge and a free exchange of ideas, two essential aspects of a college community, require a fundamental standard of honesty. Students and faculty must be able to expect that thoughts and work presented for credit are the property of the person presenting them. To safeguard these principles, it is important to clarify the rules and procedures regarding academic honesty.

1. Academic dishonesty- Students must refrain from all forms of academic dishonesty including but not limited to:

  1. Cheating on quizzes and examinations. Cheating is to act dishonestly or fraudulently in performing assignments, tests or quizzes; or to violate established or accepted rules of behavior in performing assignments, tests or quizzes.
  2. Abetting others in cheating.
  3. Appropriating other student's work.
  4. Plagiarizing written assignments. Plagiarism occurs when the creative work of another individual is imitated or used without authorization, or when the creative work of someone else is represented as one's own work. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:
  • Making a direct copy of another's work without appropriate citation. This includes books, articles, the work of other students, and information from the World Wide Web.
  • Paraphrasing the work of another so that the essential meaning and or progression of ideas are maintained in spite of minor changes.
  • Resubmitting one's own work as new, following previous submission for credit in another class or other context.
  • Presenting work as one's own, for example, work that was produced in conjunction with others, such as another student or a tutor, without including appropriate citation.
  • Closely imitating, without citation, the creative work of another in a creative work of artistic merit.
    • It should be made clear that the continuously expanding capabilities of electronic media represent increased opportunities for plagiarism. Students should be aware that fraudulently presented material from electronic sources (such as the World Wide Web) will be treated as seriously as that from any other source.

Resources for Citing Sources

These resources will help you create, organize, and manage your citations.

Research Tip

Keep track of your resources!

When accumulating the resources you will use for your paper, keep track of the information you will need to cite that resource if in fact you use it in your paper.  That means, write down the information typically used in a citation, for example, the author(s)' name(s), complete title of the resource, publisher, date, etc.  Perhaps you can make and keep copies of the first pages of the resource, whether print or electronic, for easy citation later.

The reason for this tip is that if you don't keep good records, you may end up trying to re-locate that resource.  This can be a time consuming, frustrating, and ultimately unsuccessful endeavor!

Tête á Tête

Moriz Jung, Tête á Tête on the 968th Floor of a Skyscraper (Tête á Tête am Wolkenkratzer 968 Etage)​, 1911. Color lithograph. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.