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Once you’re actually writing your paper, the first step to avoiding plagiarism is to cite your sources appropriately.  While there are several citation styles, the IB uses MLA.


The MLA uses parenthetical style for its in-text citations. This is much easier than the old-fashioned footnotes!  You need to cite your source whenever you

  • Use a direct quotation
  • Paraphrase or summarize another’s words
  • Use another’s idea
  • Use factual information that is not common knowledge

You cite your source by putting the author’s last name and the page number from which you used information in parentheses.  For example, (Bruner 87). This style acknowledges your source without interrupting the flow of your paper by forcing the reader to look at a footnote or endnote.


1.  Use the author’s last name and the page number:  (Hellman 120)
If you’re citing a poem, follow the same rules, but use line numbers rather than page numbers (Dickinson  22-25).

2.  If you have two or more texts by the same author, use the author’s last name and a shortened form of the title (in italics), as well as the page number:  (Hellman, Burning 129).

3.  If you use the author’s name and title in the sentence, just include the page number in the parentheses:  Hellman, in Burning Justice, claims that few participants guessed the final outcome (89).

4. If there is no author, just give the title and page number:  (Burning, 32).

5.  If you are citing a quotation used in your source, you must note that:  Many believed that “the very nature of justice was in peril”  (Anderson, qtd. in Hellman 85).

6.  Web documents often lack authors or page numbers.  If they have them, include them. If not, just note a short form of the page title and a short form of the URL.  (Iraq War,  DO NOT cite the page numbers of a printout, as that number varies from printer to printer.

For a full explanation of the rules, look here.


You fully document each of your sources in the Works Cited list at the end of your paper or project.  For proper format, download this handout.


Use EasyBib.  You will find the login information on the password bookmark.

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