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ENG101: College Writing (Diantha Quick): Citation Help

Citation Help



Why do I need to cite?

Citing your information sources is necessary in order to:

  • Give credit when and where it is due: Some scholarly disciplines value fresh interpretations of creative or historical works. Many others rely on a brief review of foundational ideas about a topic before introducing new research, theories or perspectives. It's important to distinguish between original ideas of your own and those of others. Citing information acknowledges the work of other researchers who produced work prior to yours. If you use a direct quote, or paraphrase information from any previously published work, include a citation to document those ideas which you incorporated from another researcher.
  • Build upon the research of others: Citing your sources demonstrates to your reader that your arguments and conclusions are supported by evidence of other researchers’ findings and not solely just your opinions.   
  • Enable further research: When you document others’ research in your work, you provide your reader with a path to additional sources they can consult for more information, enabling them to continue their own research on the same, or a related, topic.
  • Avoid plagiarism: Plagiarism is the act of not giving credit to the sources of information you use in your writing. The responsibility of academic integrity rests with each researcher, from student to professional. Plagiarism is a serious offense in any intellectual community and is subject to disciplinary action at most academic institutions, including BCC!
  • Ensure academic integrity: You do not need to cite common knowledge. For example, you do not need to cite the fact that Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, but you would need to cite your source of information for the number of slaves he inherited from his father. Academic honesty requires citing anything you write or create that includes the words, or refers to the ideas, of another person.

Online Citation Tools

Citation Quick Guides

Use these quick reference guides to get started:

Style Manuals

How to Quote & Paraphrase