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Citing Your Sources: Home

This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper.

Why Cite?

Overview

Why do you need to cite the sources you use for your papers?

  1.  Your professors expect you to read about the research of others, and to bring together their ideas in such a way that makes sense to you and will make sense to your readers.  Therefore, it's essential for you to cite your sources in any research paper you write. The academic reasons for doing so are to give credit to those who have done the original research and written the article or book, and to allow readers (your professors) to look at them if needed to find out if you have properly understood what the author was trying to say.
     
  2. On a practical level, citing your sources is a way to show that you've done the assignment. If your paper contains no citations, the implication is that you have done a piece of original research, but that probably was not the assignment. Citations (along with the bibliography) show that you have consulted a variety of resources as the assignment required. They're also an acknowledgement of your indebtedness to those authors.
     
  3. So don't feel you need to hide the fact that you're drawing from one of your sources. That's what it's all about.

*Adapted from: Taylor, Bill. "A letter to my students." Academic Integrity Seminar.  29 Feb. 2008  <http://www.academicintegrityseminar.com/Teaching/ALetterToMyStudents.html>

 

There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Nursing, and Social Sciences
  • AMA (American Medical Association) is used by Physical Therapy and Physicians Assistant programs
  • Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by the Fine Arts

You will need to consult with your professor to determine what is required in your specific course.

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