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Sources and Citation: Why and how we cite at Milton

Citation: A (very) brief introduction

A video by the library at North Carolina State University

Introduction

WHAT IS CITATION?

A "citation" is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again.

WHY SHOULD I CITE SOURCES?

Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people's work without plagiarizing. But there are a number of other reasons to cite sources:

  • helps readers find out more about your ideas and where they came from
  • keeps you from taking the rap for someone else's bad ideas; not all sources are good or right
  • shows the amount of research you've done
  • strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas

DOESN'T CITING SOURCES MAKE MY WORK SEEM LESS ORIGINAL?

Not at all. On the contrary, citing sources actually helps your reader distinguish your ideas from those of your sources. This will actually emphasize the originality of your own work.

WHEN DO I NEED TO CITE?

Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations almost always require citation:

  • whenever you use quotes
  • whenever you paraphrase
  • whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed
  • whenever you make specific reference to the work of another
  • whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas

Access

Credits

Text from What Is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved November 20, 2012, from <http://plagiarism.org/citing-sources/whats-a-citation>

This resource guide created by Corey Baker.