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Cite Your Sources

Guides in this series

Why do I need to cite my sources?

  • Citing sources is how you let readers know what information you have borrowed and where you have borrowed it from.
  • Most citation styles will ask you to provide a full reference listing for each source you use. In the body of your paper, whenever you borrow information from a source, you’ll place an in-text citation that points to the full reference.
  • Citations and references are formatted differently depending on the citation style (APA, MLA, etc.). 

How do I cite my sources?

  •  Always ask the professor which citation style is required for the assignment.
  • Cite any information or material that is not your own, including quotations, summaries, paraphrases, images, statistics, and another information that came from someone else.
  • You do not need to cite your own ideas or general knowledge (keep in mind that general knowledge can vary from discipline to discipline).
  • If you’re not sure whether to cite something, don’t be afraid to ask. Visit the Library or talk to your instructor.
  • Details matter! Follow the instructions about punctuation, spacing, and italics carefully.

Resources to help with writing your paper

Use these resources to help you write your essay.

Guide: Write a University EssayGuide: Cite Your Sources APAVideo: Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism: From Passage to Paraphrase

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