Citing the source of your argument provides your work credibility and the reader with more information to take your work further.

Being able to properly explain where the argument for your work originated is often just as important as the work you created is. Citations provide your work with a sense of trust that extends to the reader. The first step in forming a citation is to determine the proper style you wish to use. This is often based on the audience your work was created for. The most common forms of citation are the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA). APA style follows an author-date form of citation. This means that the author's name is followed by the year of the publication. MLA style follows more of a parenthetical citation form where you just state the source in parenthesis. This selection of worksheets will show you how to cite things as simple as movie and book titles, simple quotes. We will work up to writing a fully-fledged MLA and APA citation styles.

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Printable Citing Sources Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

Embedding Quotes Worksheet

Embedding Quotes

To embed a quote means to weave a quotation seamlessly into a sentence. The source of embedded quotes must be cited.

Using MLA Worksheet

Citing Books Using MLA Format

Practice writing MLA citations correctly by filling out the worksheet below using books of your choice. Fill in the blanks. Then, on the lines below each entry, write the citation in the space provided.

Anthologies and Encyclopedias Worksheet

Anthologies and Encyclopedias Using MLA

These are often more tricky works to cite because these works are put together by a collection of people. We show you where to look to point your audience to the proper reference.

In-Text Worksheet

In-Text Citations

Add the appropriate citation after each sentence below. Use the source information provided. If needed, make up the page number.

Citing the Web Worksheet

Citing Sources from the Web

Making sure that you can get your reader to the reference is the key. When we are working with webpages many teachers now ask that you take a screenshot of the reference. This is because the web is dynamic and things often become unavailable.

Periodicals Worksheet

Citing Print Periodicals

These types of resources have become less available to students over the years. Periodicals are a piece of literature that is published on a regular schedule such as a magazine or newspaper.

Basics of MLA Worksheet

The Basics of MLA Citations

Use the following to practice writing in-text MLA citations. Follow the directions below the passage and use the basic techniques that we have discussed.

Just Imagine Worksheet

Just Imagine

Imagine that you include the following sentence in your paper. How would you highlight the reference that you have used.

How to Do It Worksheet

How to Do It

Are quotation marks needed in this sentence? If so, rewrite it to include quotation marks?

Embedding Quotes Worksheet

Embedding Quotes

To embed a quote means to weave a quotation seamlessly into a sentence. The source of embedded quotes must be cited.

The Magical Passage Worksheet

The Magical Passage

You will practice all of the skills that we have explored in this section. We take in an article about the Harry Potter series.

Halley's Comet Worksheet

Halley's Comet

In reference to the passage above, imagine that you include the following sentence in your paper. This text explores Halley's Comet and when we will see it again.

In Text Citations Worksheet

Writing In Text Citations

Rewrite each in-text citation as indicated. You will need to make sure that they flow properly and are usuable by your readers.

Include the Source Worksheet

Include the Source

You will be given a series of scenarios that are pretty common when you are editing the work of someone else. It is a great worksheet when learning to proofread.

Rewrites Worksheet


You will begin to rewrite a whole mess of different things o make sure that you include the author's name in the reference only.

How to Properly Cite Sources

One of the rudimentary elements of research, commonly known as an academic paper, is the chapter of references. You must wonder why we need to cite every line we write and that too in some specific citation styles? Well, unless the words you write or present an idea that was never presented before, you need to cite everything in a paper in order to not get a plagiarism strike and to give the credit due to the paper's author from which the idea/argument was taken or used his opinion to draw a conclusion and support your hypothesis.

Citations prove to enhance the credibility of what ever you may be exploring by displaying a well-researched message. Citations can tack themselves on to whole bodies of work or even single thoughts by well documented experts. Providing a citation in the proper form is often the most difficult portion. We need to write it in the form that best speaks to our audience. Whether you use a fully quote or paraphrase a source, a citation is needed.

Types of Citation

There are two forms of citation in a paper: In-text and full reference.

In-text citation: The in-text citation is done in two forms: you quote something directly from the source using quotation marks or paraphrase it in a way distinct from the original writing. In both cases, it is crucial to state the reference at the start of the idea or to end it.

There are two most used examples of in-text citation such as:

Example 1: (Edith,2003) stated, “the words you would like to quote”

In this example, the author and the year of publication is in the parenthesis. At the same time, the words in quotation marks are directly copied from the original text. Writing like this can save you from unnecessary plagiarism.

Example 2: (Edith 2003) deduced (the relevant information paraphrased).

Here you mentioned the author and year but paraphrased the original text.

If there are more than two authors, the first author's surname and et. al. will be written like (Edith, 2003)

Another type of in-text citation is the use of a numbering system. After every sentence that needs a citation, you can put a number to it in parenthesis, such as: [1] the relevant information. This type saves you from writing the author's name and year after every sentence and gives the text a neater and more compact look.

Full Reference citation: The second form of citation is full reference, which is a list of publications mentioned in the paper's text at the end of the paper. This is the bigger version that is linked to the in-text citations. Such as, if in-text citation shows [1], then in the reference section, the first publication will be the full reference of [1]. Or it will show the full reference (Edith,2003).

Now, what does a full reference include, and how is it written. People usually make mistakes in this par as they don't know how to properly cite sources. Before we investigate it further, let's decide which formatting style to use. There are many citation styles for full referencing, such as APA, MLA, Chicago formatting, etc. You must confirm which style is acceptable in your department. Social sciences papers usually use APA, and Humanities papers are formatted in MLA format. When it comes to natural sciences and engineering, different styles are used, such as the chemistry department has its customized format ACS.

If there are no specified citation styles, then select one and use it consistently on paper.

It is important to cite every source, whether a published book, chapter, conference paper, journal, article, website, or even a YouTube video. The most used in general is the APA format.

To Cite a Journal Article:

Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks representing ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(3), 207–217.

This is an actual journal article reference. As you can see, the format starts with authors' surnames and initials, then the year of publication, the title of the paper, the publisher's location, the name of the publisher or journal, volume number, issue number, and pages. The DOI (digital object identifier).

To Cite a Book Chapter:

Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism. Verso.

The structure of the book reference is the Surname, Initials. (Year of publication). Book title (Editor/translator initials, Last name, Ed. or Trans.) Edition. Publisher.