Home > Research Tools > Smart Student Research Guide

Smart Student Research Guide

Step 9: Citing Your Sources
Skip to Step 10: Need more help?

Jump to:


Avoiding plagiarism
Whether intentional or accidental, plagiarism is a violation of the Academic Honor Code, which states that "all students are expected to accept and abide by the values of honesty, integrity, and truthfulness in their academic pursuits." Penalties for violating the Academic Honor Code can range from failure for the assignment involved to failure of the course. Repeated violations can result in dismissal from the University. (Source: 2008-2009 Student Handbook and Planner, p.29, Salve Regina University)

What is plagiarism?
According to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, to plagiarize means "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; use (another's production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source." (2004)

Plagiarism includes the following offenses:
  • Copying, quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing from any source without giving proper credit.
  • Submitting another's work as your own.
  • Purchasing or downloading a paper and turning it in as your own work.
(Source: Taken from "Preventing Plagiarism: A Guide for Students" from the Staley Library at Millikin University)

How can I avoid plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you:
  • Directly quote another person's written or spoken words. Be sure to enclose these words and/or sentences in quotations marks!
  • Paraphrase another person's spoken or written words. Paraphrase means to re-write in your own words; merely reordering or substituting words is still considered plagiarism!
  • Use theories, ideas, opinions, research, etc. that are not your own.
  • Use historical, statistical, or scientific facts or data that are not your own.
(Source: Taken from "Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It" from Writing Tutorial Services at Indiana University)

Why do I need to cite sources?
Usually all research papers must include citations. Citations ensure:
  • that anyone reading your paper can easily find your sources
  • that the words and ideas used from your sources are not assumed to be your own
  • that authors and researchers are properly credited for their original work
(Source: Taken from the HELIN Information Literacy Tutorial)


Citing Sources
There are varying ways to cite sources. Usually, a short form of the citation is included within the text of the paper (referred to as in-text or parenthetical citations) and then the full citation is given on the last page of the paper, sometimes referred to as a "Works Cited" page, a "Reference List," or a "Bibliography."

Also, there are different styles to citing sources. The following styles are commonly used:
  • APA (American Psychological Association) Format is generally used to cite sources within the social sciences.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) Format is generally used to cite sources within the humanities and liberal arts.

Guide to MLA Style

MLA style
from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Guide to APA Style

APA style
from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Guide to Chicago Style

Chicago style
from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Read the Chicago Manual of Style online in ebook format
Guide to Turabian Style

Turabian style
from Ohio State University Libraries

Citation Guides Online:
  • "Citation Quick & Easy"
    Online guide on how and when to cite sources, types of citations and the difference between APA and MLA. (From McKillop Library, Salve Regina University)
  • "Help with citing (APA, Chicago, MLA)"
    Includes quick reference guides to APA, MLA, and Chicao style format, as well as help with citing U.S. Government Publications and International Organization Publications. (From Indiana University, Bloomington, Libraries)
  • "Citing Information: Introduction"
    Self-paced instructional tutorials for various citation styles, as well as an introduction to citation. (From the Libraries of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Online Citation Tools:
  • Citation Builder
    Automatically generates citations in various styles (APA, MLA, and CBE/CSE) from any source format (book, scholarly article, Web site, etc.) (From the Libraries of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • EasyBib: The Free Automatic Bibliography Maker (MLA and APA)
    Automatically generates citations in either APA or MLA style from any source format (book, anthology, blog, journal, Bible, etc.) (Note: Citations formatted according to the 6th Ed. of the MLA Handbook and 5th edition of APA)
  • Zotero
    Zotero is a free Firefox extension that helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Citation Guides in the Library:

Where can I find more information on plagiarism?



iphone icon   QuickCite Mobile App
  from the iTunes Store.(.99¢)

Snap a picture of a book´s ISBN barcode on the back cover and send a citation for the book to your email. Choose from APA, MLA, Chicago, or IEEE styles.