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UCOL U110 (Keller)

Why do we cite?

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.

APA Style

APA Citation ManualAPA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used in the social sciences.

The style uses in-text citations in the author-date style. For example, (Jones 1998) or if you are using a direct quote (Jones, 1998, p. 199).


Reference List example of a citation from a journal article:

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.

Citing Images

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Digital images, just as any other source you use for a project or assignment, need to be used responsibly and with an awareness of copyright and ethical use. Most databases and web sites provide information about how their images can be used. It is important to read this information carefully, and comply with all usage guidelines especially if your work will be publicly available and not just turned into to your professor. 

Guidelines for use can vary considerably and obtaining permission to use images can sometimes take a long time (e.g., weeks and months). Look for images that are public domain, open access, or published under a creative commons fair use license. This means you can use the image without asking permission, but with attribution, so long as it is for educational purposes.

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