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Library Research Tutorial

Citing Sources

Why Cite Sources?

  • Gives credit to authors whose works you have used.
  • Provides a trail by which others can locate the materials you consulted.
  • Provides evidence of your research.
  • Properly citing materials is one strategy to help you avoid plagiarizing.

What needs to be cited?

  • Anything you’ve learned in your research
  • Information that would not be common knowledge, even if you knew it before
  • Summaries
  • Paraphrases
  • Direct quotes

Citation Style Guides

The most common citation styles are:

  • APA - The APA style of citation building was developed by the American Psychological Association and is commonly used in the social and behavioral sciences, such as education, psychology, social work, business. 
  • Chicago - The Chicago style of citation is widely used in the publishing industry and most commonly used for citing sources for humanities, history, and the arts.
  • MLA - The MLA style of citation building was developed by the Modern Language Association and is commonly used in the humanities, like literature, languages, art.

Citation Style Guide Access

University Library has access to several citation style guides, available on the library webpage.

  • Purdue Owl is a trusted resource that has information on how to cite in several styles, including the most common ones.
  • Your instructor may recommend a citation manual that they prefer you use.
  • The library has print copies of some citation style guides. Please contact the library for help finding them.

Citation Management Tool

Zotero

Zotero is free, cross-platform software that is used to collect your research in one place. Zotero not only collects citations, but also PDFs of full text articles when possible. It allows grouping of research into searchable collections while adding your own notes and tags. It can then export a bibliography in a variety of styles for your research paper!

  • Browser-based and desktop citation manager. You can also share folders with other Zotero users. It works with Microsoft Word as well.
  • Account: Zotero is free and open-source, but you do need an account.

Learn more about this citation management tool, including how to download it to your device in the library's Zotero guide.