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FOX Citing Sources: Why, When, and How Do I use Sources?

A guide to citations.

Why Do I Cite Something?

  • “To give credit to others’ work and ideas.”
  • “To show readers the materials on which you base your analysis, your narrative or your conclusions.”
  • “To guide readers to the materials you have used so they can examine it for themselves.

From Cite Right by Charles Lipson.


When Do I Cite Something?

  • You must cite information or ideas whenever you incorporate them in your paper/presentation.

3 Ways to incorporate sources into your work:

1. Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source.

2. Paraphrasing puts a passage from source material into your own words.

3. Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). 

Source: Purdue OWL https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/01/


A citation should answer these basic questions:

  • Who wrote it?: Author (s)
  • What is it called?: Title
  • Where was it?: Publication information including When was it written
  • Where did you find it? Database, website, DOI/URL

The number of pieces of information needed to answer the 4 basic questions will vary by the kind of source you use.

MLA Format: In-Text Citations

Use a signal phrase with page number at end of sentence when referring to a particular point
  • According to Author, … (25).
  • Author says… (25).
(Author Page number) at end of sentence if no signal phrase and referring to a particular point
 
A signal phrase or (Author) without page numbers can be used if you are referring to the ideas of the work as a whole

APA Format:In-Text Citations

All In-Text APA Citations require the author name and year of publication:
 
Use a signal phrase with year at end of sentence when referring to a particular point
  • According to Author (2016),
  • Author (2016) says…
(Author, Year) at end of sentence if no signal phrase