There are many reasons why it is so important to cite the sources you use in your research.
You demonstrate to your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information.
You avoid plagiarism by quoting the words and ideas of other scholars.
You are being a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas.
You allow your reader to find the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by using in-text citations or footnotes in combination with a bibliography or works cited list.
Citing Your Sources
There are many different "styles" you may choose from when citing sources. Your professor will probably tell you which "style" is preferred for your class. MLA (Modern Language Association), Chicago, and APA (American Psychological Association) are three of the most commonly used citation styles, but there are hundreds.
Recent editions of style manuals, which include detailed information and examples, are available at the Services & Information Desk at the University Library. If you need help on your research project, please contact a subject specialist librarian.
We have the Chicago Manual of Style available online as well as in print. For quick reference, there are many online sources. One of the best is the Purdue OWL. But be aware that the manual is always the most authoritative source.
Citation management tools allow you to keep citations, full-text articles, and other research resources organized in one place. These tools can also be used to format your bibliographies and the citations in your papers according to the appropriate style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) To use these tools, you should be familiar with the target citation style in order to input information correctly and notice any errors in your bibliography. Please contact a subject librarian for further assistance.
Zotero is a free Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources. It includes an add-in for Microsoft Word. For questions, please see the Zotero Guide, linked below, contact Ted Polley (the Zotero specialist librarian) or your subject librarian.