Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Cite It Right!: What is a Citation?

Citation information to be used with the Cite It Right - Got Research? workshops

Oakton's Misson Statement and Code of Student Conduct

Oakton Community College: Our Vision, Mission & Values


Oakton is the community's college. By providing access to quality education throughout a lifetime, we empower and transform our students in the diverse communities we serve.


Dedicated to teaching and learning, Oakton is a student-centered college known for academic rigor and high standards. Through exemplary teaching that relies on innovation and collaboration with our community partners, our students learn to think critically, solve problems, and to be ethical global citizens who shape the world. We are committed to diversity, cultural competence, and achieving equity in student outcomes.


A focus on Oakton students is at the core of each of these values.

  • We exercise responsibility through accountability to each other, our community, and the environment.
  • We embrace the diversity of the Oakton community and honor it as one of our college's primary strengths.
  • We advance equity by acknowledging the effects of systemic social injustices and intentionally designing the Oakton experience to foster success for all students.
  • We uphold integrity through a commitment to trust, transparency, and honesty by all members of the Oakton community.
  • We cultivate compassion within a caring community that appreciates that personal fulfillment and well-being are central to our mission.
  • We foster collaboration within the college and the larger community and recognize our interdependence and ability to achieve more together.
                                                                                                                                               Ratified by the Board of Trustees, March 21, 2017

 Oakton Student Handbook

 Code of Academic Conduct

"Students at Oakton Community College are expected to demonstrate qualities of morality, honesty, civility, honor and respect." (Code of Student Conduct Article I. B. p. 38)

Student Academic Integrity Policy

What students learn at Oakton goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge or skill.

Learning also involves commitment to the principles of scholarship, acceptance of a sense of mutual obligation in inquiry,
adherence to standards of honesty and acknowledgment, and participation in relationships of trust in the life-long pursuit of wisdom.

The Code of Academic Conduct prohibits such violations of academic integrity as:

  • cheating; 
  • plagiarism; 
  • falsification and fabrication; 
  • abuse of academic materials; 
  • complicity in academic dishonesty

Plagiarism is a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct as described below.

Plagiarism: Presenting the work of another as one’s own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source or sources), or submitting material that is not entirely one’s own work without attributing the unoriginal portions to their correct sources. The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources occurs when ideas or information are common knowledge. (Oakton Community College. Student Handbook 2017-18 p. 33)

What is a Citation?

A citation is reliable way to lead your reader back to the materials you used in your research.

A citation gives credit to an author for their research, writings and ideas.

Most citations include information such as

  • author's name,
  • title of the book, article or website, 
  • name of the magazine or journal, 
  • date published or updated
  • if the information was found in print or online

When you use citations you are

  • giving credit to the authors of material you used,
  • avoiding plagiarism,
  • showing that you know how to use information well,
  • creating credibility for your paper by providing good quality sources and good quality citations for them.

What Needs to be Cited?

deLaplante, K. (2010 Mar 16). Avoiding Plagiarism: What Do I Need to Cite? [Video File]. Retrieved from 
                                                                      (APA style video citation)

Length: 1:05

A URL is NOT a Citation!

A URL or web address is not enough information for a citation in any paper or project.
Often a URL will lead to a dead link so more details about your source are needed.

But a website is different from a book. 

What do I include in a citation for an internet source?

MLA requires as much of the following information as possible:
      Author's name
      Title of the work
      Title of the website
      Name of the website sponsor
      Date of the most recent update
      Web (to show this is not a print source)
      Date of access (or the date you looked at the website)

APA requires as much of the following information as possible:
      Author's name
      Date of publication or update
      Title of the source
      URL  ("Retrieved from" followed by the url)  or
      DOI - Digital Object Identifier  - for online newspaper, magazine or journal articles.

CMS or Chicago Manual of Style requires as much of the following information as possible:
      Author's name
      Title of the work
      Title of the source
      Date of publication or update


Reference Librarian

Profile Photo
Ruth Whitney
Ruth Whitney

Adjunct Faculty, Library Services
Subjects: Education

Get help from Oakton's Librarians!

Email us

Leave a voicemail and get a call back:

Text us:

Social Media
Link to OCC Library Facebook Link to OCC Library Instagram Link to OCC Library Twitter