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Citation Guide

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Citation Guide   

Find citation examples, sample papers, and tutorials to three major citation styles:  APA, MLA, and Chicago.

We strongly recommend that you:

Read Basic Concepts

What is a citation? 

A citation is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source.

What is a citation style?

A citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, punctuated, and formatted.

When should you cite? 

Any time you directly quote, paraphrase or summarize the essential elements of someone else's idea in your work, an in-text citation should follow.

What is an in-text citation?

An in-text citation is a brief notation within the text of your paper or presentation, which refers the reader to a fuller notation, or end-of-paper citation in the reference page.

What is a reference page?

It lists all the sources you cited in-text. References include where you find the information, so readers can easily find what you've cited.

Why citing is important?

To give credit: use information ethically by acknowledging the research that has laid the groundwork for your own research

Why citing is important?

To fact-check: let your readers verify the accuracy of your claims, and ensure the fidelity of a passage that you paraphrased, or quoted.

Why citing is important?

To avoid plagiarism: stealing other people's ideas and presenting them as one's own is considered plagiarism. Students accused of plagiarism may face serious consequences.

Watch Brief Introductions

The metaphor of dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes) expresses the meaning of "discovering truth by building on previous discoveries". In other words, citing is acknowledging the research that has laid the groundwork to build your own research, which sometimes manages to produce new findings--to see farther.

Cedalion standing on the shoulders of Orion from Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun by Nicolas Poussin, 1658, Oil on canvas

Remember: to avoid plagiarism, simply acknowledge that certain material in your assignment has been borrowed, and provide your audience with the necessary information to find that material. Avoid plagiarism by learning a citation style: APA, MLA, Chicago