Citing Your Sources

Why do you have to cite your sources?

No research paper is complete without a list of the sources that you used in your writing.  Scholars are very careful to keep accurate records of the resources they’ve used, and of the ideas and concepts they’ve quoted or used from others. This record keeping is generally presented in the form of citations.

A citation is a description of a book, article, URL, etc. that provides enough information so that others can locate the source you used. Citations usually include author(s), date of publication, title, and publisher’s name and location (and for articles: journal title, volume, issue, and page numbers). They allow you to credit the authors of the sources you use and clarify which ideas belong to you and which belong to other sources. Providing a citation or reference will allow others to find and use these sources as well.  Most research papers have a list of citations or cited references and there are special formatting guidelines for different types of research.

The Library has guides specific to certain fields of study, or your professor or instructor may request a specific bibliographic and citation style.  Always check with your professor regarding the citation style they prefer.

Resources online and print: