Citation Help

Why should I cite?

When you quote or paraphrase the idea of another person in your research project, you must provide a proper citation for the source.

Proper citation will

  • give credit to the author whose words or ideas you are using
  • enable others to locate the resource you cited so that they can draw their own conclusions about your argument
  • improve the credibility of your work, especially if you cited authoritative sources
  • avoid charges of plagiarism
  • allow you to enter into the scholarly conversation about your subject

How do I cite my sources?

Citation Overview

Academic disciplines use various styles for citing sources. Professors indicate what style they require for papers written in their class. Students might use several different citation styles each semester.

The Library has a Citation Research Guide with more information about creating citations. Use tools such as citation generators and management software as a guide only; always check your work against the appropriate citation style handbook for complete accuracy.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University will guide you in how to cite using the MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles.

Citation Generators

If you are looking for help with creating a few citations, you can use the free tool Cite This for Me to generate them quickly. Many databases also have a citation creating feature with a “cite” button that will automatically generate citations in various citation styles.

Citation Management

If you are looking to save, create, or organize multiple citations for a research project, Zotero is a free, easy-to-use citation manager. You can visit the Library’s Zotero Research Guide and download Zotero and create an account for free.

How do I get help with research and citations?

To get help you can contact a Librarian by phone, email, chat, or in person in the Library at the 2nd floor Research Services desk or make an appointment for a consultation with your Subject Liaison.

How do I get help with writing my paper?

If you want advice about writing your paper, you can make an appointment or stop by the CTLE Writing Center.