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.
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.
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|
Clues that this is a book:
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|
|Title of Book||The Best American Short Stories of the Century|
|Editors of Book||John Updike and Katrina Kensison|
|Place of Publication||Boston|
|Page Numbers of Chapter||78-80|
Clues that this is a chapter in a book:
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|
|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:
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.
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|
|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: