Getting Started With Your Research
A self-help guide to quality information
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What does it mean to "cite" a source?
that you show, within the body of your text, that you took the words or
ideas from another place. Failure to acknowledge these sources can be
How do I cite?
Your professors may prefer you to use a particular citation style. Common style guides such as APA (scientific), MLA (humanities), Turabian, and more are linked from the library's Style Guides for Writing page.
Whatever style you use, be sure to pay attention to the details
- form and punctuation count.
What must be cited?
Although different disciplines have different conventions for what should be cited, you should always cite
a) verbatim quotations from other works
b) sources you paraphrase or summarize, or from which you obtained ideas
c) ideas or facts which are not common knowledge
policy is: when in doubt as to whether something is common knowledge or
not, cite your source.
What does not need to be cited?
You don't need to cite anything that is common knowledge.
if you're not sure, provide a citation.
References, or List of Works Cited
You must also include a complete list of sources at the end of the paper. This shows the reader how you have done your research, and allows him to locate the materials in case he wants to read more about the subject. For the above citations, in APA format:
More information on citing - Dartmouth's Sources guide is a good source for additional guidance and examples
Prepared for the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to MIT Libraries for granting permission to modify and use their "Information Navigator" tutorial.