NWLS Academic Integrity Unit

OWL Link

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) has added a section specifically designed for students in grades 7-12. The website link below will explain the writing process, different types of essays, style, mechanics, and how to properly cite any source you use. Also, if you are not able to reach your NWLS teacher, the OWL offers help by email. The best aspect is that you can use this site through college and not have to learn new citation styles. Stick to MLA and/or APA — both are explained here if you scroll down:

Online Writing Lab at Purdue University

What is a citation?

A citation is “the act of citing (quoting) a passage from a book; or from another person, in his own words; also, the passage or words quoted”(Webster). This also includes passages from the Internet or ideas considered intellectual property, even if not quoted directly. Intellectual property is defined on the next slide. To correctly give credit to the author/speaker, simply give his or her last name and the page number, if one is given, in parenthesis. If no author is given, provide the article title. Your professor may request the URL to be listed in the works cited even though it is not required by MLA standards. Refer to the OWL for specific examples:

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

The OWL will become a fabulous resource for you as you complete high school and continue your education. Please follow this link to the OWL and study the differences among these three very important terms. They each have an important place in research composition. After you read this webpage, along the left side of the screen you will see other links with exercises in paraphrasing if you feel you need more practice.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Defined


Intellectual Property

How do I know if something is considered intellectual property or common knowledge?

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines intellectual property as “creations of the mind; inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.”

Let’s say a student is doing research in several books and articles.
As he/she begins to understand the topic, certain facts will continually surface – these facts are common knowledge and can be paraphrased or summarized easily.
However, unique ideas must always be quoted and cited as intellectual property.

Citation Styles

Modern Language Association (MLA)

  • Used by most high school teachers
  • Typically used in math and sciences at universities
  • OWL Link to MLA Style

American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Used by some teachers in high schools
  • Typically used in the arts and humanities at universities
  • OWL Link to APA Style


At NWLS, please use MLA Style to cite your work. After you master the MLA style, any other style your professor wants you to utilize is easy. The idea is the same – give credit to the original author. Citation style only refers to the format the credit is given.