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FYS: Library Research

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Cite your Sources

Why should you cite your sources? 

It is important to properly cite your sources in all of your assignments and writing. Doing so gives credit to the researchers, scholars, and others who have influenced your ideas. It also allows your audience to see the depth or your research and gives them the ability to look at the sources you used. Citing your sources is also essential to avoid plagiarism

How do you cite your sources? 

Citation style guides are available in print and online to help you properly cite your sources and format your writing. Academic disciplines use different citation formats. Ask your professor which style format to use on your assignments. 

Keep track of your citations with a reference manager

Learn how to read a citation

Watch the video below to learn more about citing your sources. 

Confused? Ask a librarian for help

Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction

from the North Carolina State University Libraries 

How to Read a Citation

How to Read a Citation 

Each style guide uses a different format for citations. Below are examples of citations from three popular formatting styles. Each citation is for the same journal article. See if you can identify the author, article title, and journal in each citation.

Article Information

Author: Susan Peck MacDonald
Article title: The Erasure of Language
Source or Journal: College Composition and Communication
Publication year: 2007
Volume: 58
Issue: Number 4
Page numbers: 585- 625

Citation Examples 

Chicago Style: 

MacDonald, Susan Peck. “The Erasure of Language.” College Composition and Communication 58, no. 4 (2007): 585-625.​


MacDonald, S. P. (2007). The erasure of language. College Composition and Communication, 58(4), 585-625.​


MacDonald, Susan Peck. “The Erasure of Language.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 58, no. 4, 2007, pp.585-625.​


What is Plagiarism?

What is Plagiarism? 

According to the Washington College Student Handbook plagiarism is "presenting the language, the ideas, or the work of another as one's own, without proper attribution." Below is a list of the different ways plagiarism can occur. Plagiarism should always be avoided. Always cite your sources properly. 

  • Direct Plagiarism: Using an author’s exact words without quotation marks and citations. Direct plagiarism also includes having someone else write your paper for you.
  • Paraphrasing: Paraphrasing a source without using proper citations.  Paraphrasing the words and ideas of more than one author and “patching” them together is also a form of plagiarism.
  • Accidental: Misquoting a source, unintentionally paraphrasing, or forgetting to include quotation marks or a citation when necessary. 
  • Self Plagiarism: Reusing your previous work for a new assignment without your professor’s permission. 

Citation Style Guides Online


ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication is available through the Miller Library.

APA Style Guide to Electronic References is available through the Miller Library. 

The Chicago Manual of Style Online is available through the Miller Library. 

Purdue University provides an excellent guide to citation styles with its Online Writing Lab



Citation Style Guides in Print

These citation style guides are available in book format at the Miller Library. They can be found at the circulation desk and in the Miller Library's reference collection.

Reference Managers

These reference management programs will help you keep track of your research and properly cite your sources.