Practice Safe Writing!

Citing the works of authors that you use to form your own research is a critical part of the writing and research process. Citation provides evidence to back up our own ideas and statement. It demonstrates where our work fits into the greater body of knowledge.  And it gives proper credit where credit is due. 

Read these best practices to avoid accidental plagiarism and check out these proper paraphrasing techniques.

Cornell University's Plagiarism Tutorial and Code of Academic Integrity

Saving time in citing sources

Picture of a clockHow to save time in citing sources

In the process of doing research, you will encounter a multitude of resources including books, articles, and websites.  Keeping all of these organized as you progress, and ultimately creating a bibliography using a particular citation style can be a daunting and time-consuming task. 

But no fear, citation management help is here!  With a relatively easy-to-use tool, you will be able to organize and save the resources you find.  And with virtually the click of a button, you will be able to generate bibliographies in nearly any citation style.

There are a number of citation management tools available to Cornell students and compatible with many of the databases you'll be using.  Visit the citation management help page to get started.  It only takes a few minutes to set up an account with such tools as Zotero and Mendeley. Endnote may also be downloaded for free by students in CALS and students in CHE.

To learn how to use these and other citation management tools, consider a workshop at Mann Library or Olin Library.

Image credit:  Tony Hammon, from Flickr at

Deciphering Citations

Here is the information you typically need in order to cite the following types of sources. There are some tips to help you decipher citations so that you can figure out the type of information source being cited. 
Levitt Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything. New York : William Morrow, 2005.
Title: Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Author(s): Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: William Morrow
Copyright/Publication date: 2005
Clues that this is a book:
  • Contains only one title: Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
  • Includes a place of publication: New York
  • Includes the name of a publishing company: William Morrow
  • Might or might not include page numbers.
To find a specific book, you can search the Library Catalog by author or title.
Journal Article (online)
Household Horror: Domestic Masculinity in Poe's 'The Black Cat' By: Bliss, Ann V.; Explicator, 2009 Winter; 67 (2): 96-99. 
Article title: Horror: Domestic Masculinity in Poe's 'The Black Cat'  
Author(s): Bliss, Ann V.
Journal title: Explicator
Journal Volume and Issue: Volume 67 Issue 2
Page numbers for the article: 96-99
Where you found the full-text of the article: MLA Bibliography 
Database platform: EBSCO Host
Database provider: (library or other group which provided access to the database)Cornell University Library
Web address of the database:
Clues that this is an online article:
  • Includes the elements of an article citation, such as two titles, volume/issue numbers, and page numbers
  • Includes the name of the article database in which the article was found: MLA Bibligraphy
  • Contains a URL to the article database in which the article was found:
  • Includes a date of access
You can search the Library Catalog or the E-Journals List for the title of the journal, newspaper, or magazine to see if we have access to the publication here at the library.
Web Page
(all of the elements might not be available for each web page)
WANGO  Accessed October 9, 2017.
Author: no author listed
Title of web page: WANGO
Web address: 
Web site host or publisher:
Date of copyright or date page was updated  2017
Date you accessed the page  October 9, 2017
Clues that this is a web page:
  • Often does not have individual authors
  • Includes a URL to the site.
  • Does not include the name of a library or library database
  • Includes a date of access