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Citing Sources

This guide provides information and resources to assist with citing your sources and avoiding plagiarism

Inclusive Language

 The latest handbook for MLA include guidance on using inclusive language when discussing   race,ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation,abilty,age and economic/ social status.

  See pp. 89-93 in the MLA Handbook.  Some of the best practices are listed below:

  • Make references to identity relevant.
    • Do not include terms that specify a subject's race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, or economic or social status unless it is meaningful to the context 
    • Reword gender-specific terms for gender neutrality. Example: Use "humankind" instead of "mankind".
    • Avoid using gender-specific terms to refer to people. 
  • Choose terms of identity that respect your subject.
    • Use people-first language. Example: Use phrases such as “person with a disability,” “individuals with disabilities,” as opposed to phrases that identify people based only on their disability, such as “the disabled.” 
  • Minimize pronouns that exclude
    • Instead of writing "he or she" when discussing people in a context where the gender is not relevant, rewrite the sentence and not use pronouns. 
    • Use the preferred personal pronouns for individuals. "They" may be used in a singular sense if a single person's gender identity is non-binary.
    • Don't assume that all individuals identify as male or female.
  • Avoid negatively judging others' experiences
    • Avoid language that can evoke emotions or inaccurate imagery.  Example: Describing a person who uses a wheelchair as "wheelchair-bound"
  • Use a dictionary to check for offensive terms
    • Find a current dictionary to determine if a term is considered offensive before using it.
    • If you are quoting a slur from a work you are writing about, don't repeat the slur as your own words. Instead you can add a dash after the first letter of a term to avoid using the full word in your paper. 

Other Sources

Check out the sources below that provide information on using gender inclusive language and appropriate language related to race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, social status. 

Citing Transgender Autors

There is a lack of standardization on citing transgender authors who may have multiple names attached to their scholarship.  Transgender authors are not comfortable being referred to by their old names in citations — a practice often referred to as “deadnaming”  It is best to ask colleagues what they prefer.