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Cite Sources: Citing Sources

Help with the various citation styles (APA, MLA, etc)

Belmont's Academic Honor Pledge

"In affirmation of the Belmont University Statement of Values, I pledge that I will not give or receive aid during examinations; I will not give or receive false or impermissible aid in course work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other type of work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of my grade; I will not engage in any form of academic fraud. Furthermore, I will uphold my responsibility to see to it that others abide by the spirit and letter of this Honor Pledge."

Learn more about Belmont's academic honor system in the

Why cite?

Four reasons to cite (from UCLA Libraries):

1. Helps you avoid plagiarizing.

2. Allows the reader to find your research sources. Think of citations as footprints leading the reader through some of the steps you took to reach your conclusions.

3. Provides evidence for your arguments and adds credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of viewpoints on a given topic.

4. Is standard practice for scholars and students engaged in written academic conversations. By citing your sources, you demonstrate that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, adding something to what so-and-so said and so forth.

 Read more at:

What do I cite?

You should cite anything that you quote driectly from another source, whether that's a movie, an audio clip, a newspaper, or a scholarly article.

You should also cite information that you learned from another source.  If you're paraphrasing or summarizing someone else's information, you still need to give them credit for coming up with the idea.

You don't need to cite things that are considered "common knowledge", meaning basic facts or other things most people know.

You don't need to cite your own experiences, thoughts, or conclusions about a subject.

For more information about when and what to cite, check out UCLA's tutorial or the OWL at Purdue.

What is plagiarism?

Check out this video from the Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers University. 

Parts 2 and 3 can be found on their website.

Which style?

 There are several different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style usually depends on the academic discipline. For example:

  • MLA style is typically used by the Humanities
  • APA style is often used by Education and Psychology
  • Chicago/Turabian is generally used by History, Business, and some of the Fine Arts

Check with your professor to make sure you use the preferred style.

How to Read Citations

Reading a Citation

Knowing how to read a citation can help you not only avoid plagiarism by ensuring your'e citing your sources properly; it can also help you find more sources for your research!  If you know how to read a citation, you can figure out how to go about finding a source someone else has cited.  The examples here are in MLA style, but the other styles are very similar.

The information below will help you to cite your sources correctly and to decipher citations.

Book

Carter, Stephen L. Civility: manners, morals, and the etiquette of democracy. New York : Basic Books, 1998. Print.

Title Civility: manners, morals, and the etiquette of democracy.
Author(s) Stephen L. Carter
Place of publication New York
Publisher Basic Books
Copyright/publication date 1998

Clues that this is a book:

  • Contains only one title: Civility: manners, morals, and the etiquette of democracy.
  • Includes a place of publication: New York
  • Includes the name of a publishing company: Basic Books
  • Might or might not include page numbers.

If you have a citation to a specific book that you are interested in finding, you can search the Library Catalog for the title or author.


Chapter in a Book

Hemingway, Ernest. "The Killers" The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Ed. John Updike, Ed.Katrina Kenison. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. 78-80. Print.

Article Title The Killers
Author Ernest Hemingway
Title of Book The Best American Short Stories of the Century
Editors of Book John Updike and Katrina Kensison
Place of Publication Boston
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Copyright/Publication Date 1999
Page Numbers of Chapter 78-80

Clues that this is a chapter in a book:

  • Contains the title of the chapter, often in quotation marks: "The Killers"
  • Contains another title, the title of the book, often in italics: The Best American Short Stories of the Century
  • Includes a place of publication for the book: Boston
  • Includes a publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • Includes page numbers for the chapter: 78-80

 

Journal Article

Gervais, Bryan. "Rude democracy: civility and incivility in American politics." Journal of Politics 74.2 (2012): 1.

Article Title Rude democracy: civility and incivility in American politics
Author(s) Bryan Gervais
Journal Title (title of the journal or magazine in which the article appears) Journal of Politics
Journal volume and issue Volume 74 Issue 2
Date of the Article 2012
Page numbers for the article 1

Clues that this is a journal article:

  • Contains the title of the article, sometimes in quotation marks: "Rude democracy: civility and incivility in American politics"
  • Contains another title, the title of the journal, often in italics: Journal of Politics
  • Contains a volume and often an issue number: 74.2, sometimes written as 74(2)
  • The date is usually only a year

If you have a citation to a specific article that you are interested in finding, you can search the Library Catalog for the title of the journal.


Web Page

The Purdue OWL Family of Sites The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008. Web. 31 May 2012

Author No author listed
Title of web page The Purdue OWL Family of Sites
Format web
Website host or publisher The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U
Date of copyright or date page was updated 2008
Date page was accessed May 31, 2012

Clues that this is a web page:

  • Often does not have individual authors
  • Includes URL to the site
  • Includes a date of access