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PHYS 280: Contemporary Physics: Citation Style

These resources are provided in support of the Physics 280 writing assignment.

MLA Citation Style

The MLA Citation guide, prepared by The Ohio State University Libraries, gives clear examples of how to prepare the citations for your paper.  Examples of in text and reference list citations are given.

Dr. Andereck requires a modification to this style which requires documentation for where the information was found.

Why Cite?

Providing citations to the work of others you use to create your paper shows that you are using information ethically and honestly.  The basic tenet, "if you didn't know it before you said it, you have to cite it" applies to all academic scholarship.  Citing sources gives credit where credit is due and provides the reader with a "trail of breadcrumbs" which they may use to both learn more about your topic and to follow your line of reasoning.  Citing your sources shows that you have done the work and that you respect the intellectual property of the people you cite.  Not citing your sources is an act of academic dishonesty and can have grave consequences to both your academic career and your academic reputation.

Each academic discipline tends to have its own separate citation style, often modeled after the core journals in its field.  Physics has its own style as well.  However, for this course, the professor has specified that you use the MLA citation style because it is familiar to students in the liberal arts setting.


Take a look at these two documents for a plagiarism example.  The first document is plagiarized text; the second document is the original text.