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Citation Guide

What is a Citation?

A citation is a brief annotation in your paper or presentation that notes where you found your information. How you reference your sources will depend on what citation style you are using. You can find more information on specific citation styles using the tabs on this page. 

Why bother? 

Citing your sources is important for three main reasons: 

  1. To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  2. To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  3. To allow your reader to track down the sources you used

When should I cite my sources? 

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, use an existing idea or opinion, or reference another work. 


What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism means deliberately using or presenting someone else's work, including the work of other students, as your own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge.

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism 

1) Understand the context of the information you're incorporating into your paper. Be careful not to misquote the original source. 

2) When using a direct quote, make sure to always put quotation marks around the quote and include a citation. 

3) Avoid copying/pasting text into your paper. 

4) Recognize what needs to be cited in your work - basically anything that wasn't your original analysis. When in doubt - include a citation in-text and on your bibliography/work cited/ reference page. 

5) Still not sure? Ask a librarian in the chat box!

Key Parts of a Citation

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. LTC instructors typically use APA or MLA citation styles, so check with your instructor to make sure you’re using the correct style.

Here is an example of an article citation using APA and MLA different citation styles.  Notice the common elements as mentioned above:

  • Author - R. Langer
  • Article Title - New Methods of Drug Delivery
  • Source Title - Science
  • Volume and issue - Vol 249, issue 4976
  • Publication Date - 2019
  • Page numbers - 1527-1533

American Psychological Association (APA) style:
Langer, R. (2019). New methods of drug delivery. Science, 249(4976), 1527-1533.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style:
Langer, R. "New Methods of Drug Delivery." Science 249.4976 (2019): 1527-33.