Citation Help 2.0: Citing Your Sources

Why Cite Your Sources?

In addition to the general requirement to avoid plagiarism, there are two main purposes for citing information:

  1. To give proper credit for a quotation, idea, or other item of intellectual content to the person who created it;
  2. To enable scholars (including anyone who reads your paper) to be able to find and examine the works that you cite.

Gathering Information for Your Citations

How you cite information in your paper is important, but before you start you need to understand what type of information should be cited and to gather the needed information from each source that you use as you go along so that you don't have to go back and find it later. To fulfill the purposes for citing information, your citations need to be accurate and complete, and you will usually need to gather the following information:

  • Books:
  1. Author
  2. Title
  3. Date
  4. Publisher
  5. Publisher's city
  6. Page numbers
  • Articles:
  1. Journal title
  2. Article title
  3. Author
  4. Volume number
  5. Issue number
  6. Date
  7. Page numbers
  • Web pages:
  1. URL
  2. Author or organizational author
  3. Title
  4. Date (if given)
  5. Date you accessed it (for some citation styles)

The most commonly used citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago, although there are many others that are used for certain subjects or circumstances. Your professor will tell you which style to use for an assignment.

PQRC: Two kinds of citations

PQRC: Quoting

PQRC: Paraphrasing