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Citing Sources: Citing Sources

Learn about plagiarism, copyright, fair use, and how to cite sources using APA and MLA citation formats.

Why do I need to Cite?

There are many reasons why you must cite your sources when conducting research. The major reasons you must use citations are:

  • to avoid plagiarism
  • to show evidence of your research
  • to show support for your arguments
  • to give credit to the original creators
  • so readers can find the works you consulted and learn more about the topic
     

Tutorials

Citation for Beginners

Citation Help

There are many websites you can go to learn how to cite sources. Here is are a few places you can go to for help.

What Do You Need to Cite

You must cite your sources whenever you use anything that originated from someone or someplace else. This includes the following:

  • use another person's idea, opinion, work, or theory
  • any fact, statistic, graph, or chart that is not common knowledge
  • quote, paraphrase, or summarize another person's actual spoken or written words
  • use any image or illustration created by someone else
  • any piece of music written by someone else
  • any interview conducted with another person
  • reuse, including re-posting, any electronic media (web page, audio, images, video, etc.)

You do not need to cite "common knowledge". (i.e. George Washington was the first president of the United States.)

How do I quote, paraphrase, and summarize correctly?

What is Paraphrasing?

When paraphrasing, only a small piece from an author's work is paraphrased. (i.e. only paraphrase two paragraphs from a five page article)

What is Summarizing?

A summary is a broad overview of an author's work and is considerably shorter than the original. A proper summary includes the following:

  • identify and restate the main points of the author(s) in your own words
  • do not add your opinions, interpretations, or thoughts to the summary
  • the summary should not change the meaning of the original source
  • cite the source

Library Media Specialist

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Deana Collins
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