UNST 108A -Dougher: Cite Sources
What is a Citation?
A citation gives credit to the original author(s) of a work. Citations also allow people who are reading your work to be able to find the original sources of information.
Basic citations for a book, for example, include the name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), the title of the book, the publisher's name, the place of publication, and the most recent copyright year.
There are a number of styles that can be used to construct citations. Each style specifies the information to be included in the citation, the order of the information,the format, and the punctuation.
Your instructor may require a particular style. If there is not an assigned style, then choose a style and be consistent with that style throughout your work.
When you use someone else's word, ideas, or images in your writing, you need to give them proper credit. Providing a citation or reference enables others to locate these sources too.
We cite to:
- Avoid plagiarism - give credit where credit is due
- Allow our reader to follow up on points that interest them
- Give our writing more credibility
- Help our reader see how we came to our conclusion
You should cite when you:
- Use a direct quote
- Make a claim that might be challenged/questioned
- Paraphrase the ideas of another person
- Offer an expert opinion
Selected Online Citation Guides
Citing Government DocumentsGuides to citing government documents in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian styles.
OWL - Purdue's Online Writing LabDetailed guide to APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles. Navigate to "Research and Citation" on the left to access citation style help.
MLA Handbook PlusProvides online access to the MLA Handbook.