There are three steps when citing your sources for a paper:
1. Gathering your source information. Locate articles and books on your topic from a variety of locations. Choose the best resources for your paper or argument.
2. Using the information you found in the body of your paper and referencing the author and page number (if applicable). Select what information from your sources best illustrate the points you want to make in your writing. This may include quotations, paraphrasing work or ideas, or statistical information. All information must use in-text citations in your paper.
3. Creating a Works Cited page of your sources to connect your reader directly to your sources. Your last page is a list of all the sources you used in your paper, formatted in MLA style.
Common writing tools to avoid plagiarism include:
Ultimately you need to be clear about which ideas are your own, and which ideas are those of others. This gives your reader context, and a way to do further research on the topic when you have sparked their interest.
Another strategy is time management and organization throughout the research process. Allow enough time to manage citations and keep them organized so avoiding plagiarism is easier to accomplish.