When you use somebody else’s words or ideas, you are borrowing their intellectual property. Give credit where it is due, because if you don’t you could be accused of plagiarism – a punishable offense. Also, if somebody wants to learn more about your topic, they can look up the sources you list on your Works Cited page and read them for themselves.
Because researching for a paper or speech is a learning process it is expected that students will sometimes borrow an author’s words and ideas for their own final product. Citation is the formal acknowledgement that you have done so. The form the citation takes will depend upon the academic discipline for which you are doing the research project.
- MLA (Modern Language Association) – arts and humanities.
- APA (American Psychological Association) – social sciences.
- Chicago Manual of Style – humanities and social sciences.
- Council of Science Editors (CSE) – sciences, medicine.
Citation Guides and Tutorials
Resources from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. Formatting & Style Guide
Citation Style Chart (Side-by-side comparison of MLA/APA/CMS Styles)
Tweet: MLA, APA, Chicago
Speech Transcript: MLA, APA, Chicago
CREDO Literati Citation Tutorials
Each tutorial presents the formats, with detailed explanations, of citations for books, eBooks, print and electronic journal articles, and websites. Learning checks are provided at the end of each section to assess your mastery of the concepts.
More CSE Style Assistance
Citation Management Tools
EasyBib EDU is a citation manager and bibliography generator owned by the online textbook service Chegg. The service is free but ad-supported.
Creating a Bibliography and Adding Items
- Most common citation formats are MLA, APA, and Chicago, but you can search for more citation formats, such as Council of Science Editors.
- Most common media formats are book, video/film, journal, and database, but many other options are available.
- Use the My Projects link at the top of the page to create a new bibliography (works cited, references) project in the citation format of your choosing.
- Choose a book or article title, or type a URL in the search box, to see if a citation is available.
- Review the information EasyBib finds for your search, and continue to create and store a citation in your project bibliography.
- Citations for articles in EBSCO and Credo Reference research databases can be directly exported to EasyBib. In order for a citation to be sent directly into your EasyBib project, you must be logged in.
This video tutorial from Gateway Community College is a good overview of the process, from creation of your account to creation of your bibliography.
Zotero is a project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for New History and New Media at George Mason University, and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and by the Carnegie and Sloan Foundations.
- From zotero.org use the Register link, complete the short online form, and click Register.
- Look for an email message from Zotero to confirm your account creation.
- From the Zotero home page click Download Now to download the application. Zotero Standalone, which maintains your research library on your desktop, is compatible with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Once you have Zotero installed on your desktop, adding items to your Zotero research project can be accomplished several ways.
- Click the unique icons displayed on Zotero enabled sites like Amazon.com, some library catalogs, and research databases like JSTOR to add a book or article.
- Manually add items using the New Item button in the Zotero toolbar.
- Search for items using metadata like an ISBN or a DOI to find citation information.
To learn how to add items to your research project, watch this video tutorial from zotero.org.