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French Language and Literature: Subject Guide: Citing Sources

Citing Sources

For research in French language and literature, you will often use the MLA Style Guide.

For information on major style guides and citation styles, see the Citing Sources Research Guide.

The Louvre

Paris Sunset from the Louvre window

Image courtesy of Flickr and the Creative Commons

RefWorks and Zotero


RefWorks is a citation manager. You can import records directly into RefWorks from many databases, including Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, and others. You will need to create an account while on campus, but you can then log into RefWorks from anywhere. For more information to help you get started, use this RefWorks tutorial.


Zotero is a citation manager and an extension of the Firefox web-browser. Download it directly from Firefox. To learn more about Zotero take a look at the Quick Start Guide.

Southwestern University Honor Code

From the Southwestern University Student Handbook:

"Plagiarism is the submission of another's work as one's own without acknowledgment in the written work.

There are basically four ways in which research papers use or incorporate written materials, and each of these requires footnoting.

1. Direct quotations should be marked off with quotation marks, with a footnote to indicate the source.

It is not necessary to place in quotation marks every word in your paper that appears in a source you are using. If your paper concerns Napoleon, for example, you need not place "Napoleon" in quotation marks merely because your sources use the name. Similarly, there are phrases of some length such as "on the other hand" or "it is evident that" which are common property and act in effect as single words.

2. Paraphrase. Where your own language follows closely the language of a written source, or where your line of argument follows a source, you need not use quotation marks, but you are obliged to indicate the source in a footnote.

3. General indebtedness. Where the ideas in your paper closely resemble and were suggested by the ideas in a source, a footnote should be used to indicate this.

4. Background information. In any area of inquiry there are matters of fact commonly known to everyone with a serious interest. Such information need not be footnoted one fact at a time. Instead, a general footnote toward the beginning of the paper, naming the sources where such general information was obtained, is sufficient."

There are many other types of academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, cheating on tests, providing answers to test or homework questions to another student, stating false attendance at a required event, falsifying academic records, submitting work done in one class for credit in another class, and claiming work done by others as your own.

Acts of suspected academic dishonesty are referred to the Student Judiciary and the Dean of Students for review. The consequences for academic dishonesty are severe, ranging from loss of credit for an assignment to failure in a course. Repeated acts of academic dishonesty may result in both academic and non-academic penalties, including expulsion from the University. It is far better to avoid academic dishonesty and plagiarism in all your work.