Skip to Main Content

Academic Integrity: Citing Your Sources

Citing Your Sources

Why Cite?

  • Citations illustrate your research process

  • Citations acknowledge the authors and researchers you relied on to develop your argument or point of view

  • Citations allow your reader to identify and locate additional resources on your topic

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs when you use words or ideas that are not yours and do not credit the source. If you use the words or ideas of another, you must either
  • Place the information in quotation marks and cite the source, or
  • Paraphrase or summarize the information and cite the source.‚Äč

What to Cite

  • If the idea or information is not from your own mind or created by you, cite it

  • Cite facts, data, journal articles, books, web pages, video, and images

  • Cite non-traditional sources, such as radio, television, and a conversation with a friend

Common Knowledge is an exception. Common knowledge or facts such as...

  • If you are unsure if something is common knowledge, find a source and cite it



Elements of a Citation

  • Author
  • Item title (book, article, essay, song, web page)
  • Source title (anthology, journal, database, web site)
  • Version or volume
  • Issue or number
  • Publisher
  • Publication date
  • DOI or URL

Common Citation Styles

APA Style
  • Developed for use in the social and behavioral sciences
  • Author-date method of in-text citing
  • References page on a separate page at the end of your work.
Examples of in-text citations and References page entries = APA Style guide.
APA Style Blog = companion site to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.

MLA Style

  • Created for use in the fields of language and literature
  • Author-page method of in-text citing
  • Works Cited page on a separate page at the end of your work

Examples of in-text citations and Works Cited page entries = MLA Style guide

The MLA Style Center = companion site to MLA Handbook, 8th ed.