When to Cite Sources

When using someone else's words, ideas, charts, images and the like, you have to acknowledge where the information came from.  Failure to do so is plagiarism.  To avoid plagiarism, use documentation to clearly identify the source of your information. It is generally better to overdo.  When in doubt, cite the source.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty.  It can have severe consequences in the academic world.  Avoid plagiarism by citing sources whenever using the ideas of another.

  A Variety of Documentation Choices

Often you will not be given a choice as to what type of documentation to use.  Your professor will specify the type required.  A simple rule of thumb is that English uses MLA; Psychology and Education use APA; History uses Turabian; Sociology uses American Sociological Association; the Sciences use CSE (formerly CBE).  Some professors may select Chicago.  If given a choice, many students prefer MLA.

Decoding a citation

Occasionally, students are confused when faced with a reference to a source. What part of the reference is needed for a Works Cited page or list of References? And what do those numbers stand for?

Here , courtesy of Saint Anselm's College, is a look at the elements of a citation:

Citation Generators

Often, when trying to use documentation for a project, students may become more focused on the specifics of the documentation format rather than the content of the essay, report, or other document they are working on. This is when a citation generator can be helpful. Some citation generators, such as Easy Bib, can be accessed individually for a student. Other citation generators are generally available, such as KnightCite. Not all citation generators include every type of documentation, and it is important to check to make sure the citation generator is using the most current format. Databases also provide bibliographic format styles.

Try some of these citation generators:

Mendeley: The Citation Plugin allows you to quickly and easily cite materials that you’ve added to your Mendeley library - as well as generating a full bibliography of the materials you’ve referenced in the paper. Best of all, it allows you to completely restyle all of the references you’ve inserted into a paper with just a couple of clicks.