UNST 107A -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.

Why Cite?

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 dueimage of a protest sign stating citation needed
  • 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

Using Automatic Citation Generators Video

Credit Where Credit is Due Video