Ethical Research

By: Skyelar Nelson

What you need to have in a citation

  • Author's Last Name and First Name
  • Book Title
  • Web Title
  • Year of Publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of Publication
  • URL

What is a citation?

A citation is when you give credit to an author's work when you use it in an essay, webpage, report, or any kind of document. Citations are very important because if you don't use them you will have consequences that involve, suspensions, and F on the assignment, or in extreme cases jail. The reason there are such heavy consequences for not citing your findings is if you don't cite then you are stealing someone else's work which is considered illegal. We may have the access to many things but copying and pasting without a citation is unacceptable.

MLA Citation Help

Here are a few sites you can use to create a MLA citation:

Here is an example of a MLA citation using the photo I found:

MLA Quick Guide WSU Libraries. Digital image. Google Images. Washington State University, n.d. Web. <>.

Here is a short video that gives you the basics for writing a MLA citation:

Citation :

MLA in Text Citation for Beginers. Perf. HSLanguageArts. 2014. Web. <>.

MLA in text citations for beginners

When do I use citations

You should always use citations if possible just to be safe but here are some cases when you must use them:

  • You must cite when you paraphrase or summarize an author's work because although it's in your own words it was still their original idea.
  • You must cite when you use quotes directly from an author's work because it is all their work and you must give them credit.
  • Try to use citations at the proper time and don't let them consume your work.

When do I not have to use citations?

You should cite whenever you can to be safe but in these cases you don't have too:

  • Facts that are widely known or information or judgments that are considered as "common knowledge" do not have to be cited.
  • Your original ideas, reactions, or observations do not have to be cited.
  • Results from you original research or experiments do not have to be cited either.

What Reliable Sources are Available for use?

Here are a few good, reliable, and credible websites:

Mid - Continent ID: 20005001149413

Biography is a great place to go when researching someone famous

The CIA World Fact book is a good place to utilize when researching a country

Image resources:

Here are some examples of the websites

How can you generate a research question that will help you find relevant information?

To generate a research question you must be specific in what you want to learn. Say we are writing a report on Elephants. You go and search the word elephants on a site like Ebsco Host ( ) and you get so many things it is over whelming. Well, what you need is a good research question. You could type fun facts about elephants, Elephant habitats, Elephant food resources, or Elephant poaching. See in these types of searches you must be specific to find the information you seek.

How to use search terms (keywords) effectively in finding information

In the previous section we talked about how to generate a good research question but in this section I am going to tell you how to use key words to help generate the question. Let's say that you are doing a report on Elephants rescues. You go to Ebsco Host and type Elephants in the search bar and you get over 20,000 articles. The way to narrow these down is by clicking advanced search under the search bar. Once you click advanced search you get two columns. There are three different words you can click to support your topic, or, not, or and. Say you choose and in both columns and type in orphans and rescue. This narrows you search down to 7 articles which I think is much more manageable than 20,000. Remember don't just go with the first one!

How do you decide whether a website is credible or relevant

To find out if a source is credible or relevant you need to do the following.

  • Look at the URL (.com , .org , .gov, etc)
  • Look at the over all title of the page
  • Find the publishing date
  • Find the author
  • Use common sense

The difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing


Paraphrasing is when you rephrase the worlds of an author, putting his/her thoughts in your own words. Paraphrasing must be cited and just changing a few words is not a paraphrase.


Summarizing is when you put the main idea of one or more authors in your own words. Summarizing, unlike paraphrasing, only focuses on the main points.


Quotations always have quotes around them and they give the authors name after the quote. Quotations are the exact words from an author copied directly from a source, word for word. Be cautious when using quotes because too many quotes is like copying and pasting someone else's work and making quotes your whole paper.

What plagiarism is and how to avoid it

Plagiarism is the act of presenting the works, ideas, images, sounds, or the creative expressions as your own.

There are two types of Plagiarism:


  • Copying a friends work
  • Borrowing or Buying a paper
  • Copying and Pasting text directly into your paper


  • Poor paraphrasing
  • Poor Citation or NO citation
  • Using to many quotes (More than 50% of your paper)(For Quotes see section above)

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Cite or Credit your source - This is called an attribution which means giving an author credit for their work or ideas
  • Paraphrase the work - This means writing down the information in your own words based on what the author said (You still need to cite your source)