Citation is a formal process of giving credit to the sources you are using in your academic work.
Citing your sources is important for many reasons, but these may be the most important:
First, pay attention and keep track of the sources you are reading and may use in your paper. In order to properly cite a source, you will need to gather all of the source’s identifying information, such as: author(s), title(s) of source, date of publication, volume/issue number, edition, page numbers, date of publication, etc.
Next, you will need to use a style guide to format your citations. Each academic discipline has their own set of “official” formatting rules for writing and presenting research. These rules are outlined in books called style guides or publication manuals.
These are the most commonly used "styles" here at ELAC:
Keep in mind, there are many, many styles out there! ASA, CSE, and Turabian are just a few more styles that are used here at ELAC. Always ask your professor which style you should be using to cite your sources. ELAC Libraries have copies of these official style guides, but there are many resources freely available online as well. Our favorites are Purdue OWL and Excelsior OWL.
Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s words, ideas, or creations without giving them proper credit.
The simplest way to avoid plagiarism is to always give credit to the authors and sources you are using in your work. In academia, we call this process “citing.” Keep notes on where you are finding your information while you are doing class readings or your own independent research. Make sure every source you use in your paper is fully and properly cited.