What is Citation?

Citation is the practice of providing information about the sources you have used in your writing. The idea is to allow a reader to trace your ideas back to their original sources.

Why Do We Cite?

Citation acknowledges any source that has directly influenced your language, ideas, or arguments. You should cite not only what you quote, but also what you paraphrase. Putting an idea or argument into your own words may modify it, but does not make you the sole author.

Citation also allows readers to locate your sources. Scholarly writing is a dialogue with others who have addressed the same topic, and your reader needs to know who they are and where you have encountered their ideas.

Also, if you don't cite, you'll be guilty of plagiarism.

How to Cite

The primary rule of good citation is to provide enough information so that a reader can find the source.

It is important to keep track of where your information comes from during the research process. When you consult a source, make sure that you write down the relevent bibliographic information such as author, title, date, URL, volume, and page numbers.