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Research Help: Citation

Find Answers and Get Research Help

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Need writing or citation help? You can talk to a tutor from the Writing Resource Center (WRC)

  • The WRC is available to help students with their grammar, spelling, citations, and more. You can book an appointment online, see their hours, and get more help on the Writing Resource Center page.

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Citations

 When do I need to Cite? 

If you incorporate or refer to others’ words or ideas in your paper, you must give credit to the author. A parenthetical citation in the text of your paper and a Works Cited entry are required for all of the following:

  • Direct quotations (entire sentences or phrases)
  • Paraphrases (rephrased or summarized information)
  • Words or phrases coined by an author to describe his or her research, theories, or ideas
  • Use of an author’s argument or line of thinking Historical, statistical, or scientific facts Articles or studies referred to in your paper 

 When Is It OK Not to Cite? 

There are a few instances where information is so well known that a specific source does not need to be credited. The following types of information do not require a citation. However, these categories can be vague (especially “common knowledge”). When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to cite the source.

  • Proverbs, axioms, or sayings
  • Well-known quotations
  • Common knowledge
  • Statistics and information that can be found in several sources and are not likely to vary from source to source

Helpful Writing and Research Tips

As you research:

  • Record the author, title, publisher, and publication date of your sources
  • When you take notes, be sure to record the page number where you found the information
  • If you copy exact text into your notes, specify that it’s quoted material

As you write: 

  • When you paraphrase, close the book and write the idea in your own words.
  • Then check it against the original.
  • Consider giving credit to the author at the beginning of the sentence (eg, “According to Sturken and Cartwright…”)
  • If the original source uses a word or phrase that you think is necessary to convey the idea, put it in quotation marks and include a citation

As you proofread:

  • Make sure that all material (quoted or paraphrased ) from outside sources is cited in the body of your paper and on the Works Cited page
  • Check any direct quotations against the original source
  • Verify that paraphrased information doesn’t borrow key words or sentence structure from the original source

Source: “Avoiding Plagiarism.” 11 Jan. 2007. Glendale College Library. 20 Feb. 2008. web .

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