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Citation Help

Citation assistance for other formats.

Why We Cite?


A citation identifies for your readers the original source from which you plucked an idea, image, or other information that now resides in your own research paper, website, or other work.
You must cite the following:

  • A direct quote is taken verbatim from another source
  • Any source you paraphrase, summarize, or from which you obtained ideas
  • Ideas or facts that are not common knowledge

A basic citation includes the author(s), title, publication date, page numbers, and other "bibliographic" elements arranged in a particular order.

Why Cite?

  • Give yourself some credit.  When you cite, you show evidence of your own research and hard work.
  • Give credit to others and avoid Plagiarism. When you incorporate ideas and information from other authors--whether through direct quotes or paraphrasing--be fair by acknowledging their work.
  • Become part of the chain of scholarship. Contribute to your readers' own research process by giving them the opportunity to follow up on your source material.

Cite a Source: How and Why You Should Do It

Citing Your Sources Tutorial