Skip to Main Content

Getting Started with Research

Plagiarism Awareness

To Give Credit
Giving credit to the original source rewards other scholars for the hard work and creativity they contribute to advancements in their fields. Recognition inspires us to reach new heights. In some fields, citations even lead to career advancement.

To Establish Our Credibility
The more you know about your topic, the more credible your arguments become. By citing sources, we prove that we've researched existing information and multiple viewpoints. In turn, readers will see that our theories and ideas are well-supported.

To Help Our Readers
Citations are like roadmaps to your sources. Sometimes, seeing a quote in its original context helps readers understand it better. Citations can also guide your readers to more information about your topic.

To Participate in an Academic Conversation
No scholar works in isolation. We develop our ideas by learning about the work of others and researching existing information. In turn, your work contributes to this ongoing intellectual conversation and supports new research. When you cite your sources, you show how your work fits into your field of study.


Taking a direct quote from someone else? Be sure to put quotation marks around their words and cite them!


Restating another person's writing? Be sure to cite them!


Summarizing someone else work? Be sure to cite them!


Referencing someone else's research, findings, or data? Be sure to cite them!


Including someone else's charts, graphs, or other visual aids? Be sure to cite them!


Generally, when information is not well known, is specialized knowledge, or is in dispute or might be subject to interpretation, a citation is warranted.


Cite websites, just as you would print sources.

Class Discussions

Be sure to give credit for the ideas someone else raised in a discussion.

Your Own Work

Cite your own work, just as you would a published source.

When Don't We Have to Cite?

You don't have to cite common knowledge. It's not always easy to know what will be considered common knowledge. You might think of common knowledge as information that can be found in a reputable general encyclopedia. (Example: George Washington was the first U.S. president.)

The Learning Commons Library's Guide to Academic Integrity

Owl — APA and MLA Documentation

Chicago Manual of Style — The venerable, time-tested guide to style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format. It is the indispensable reference for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers, informing the editorial canon with sound, definitive advice.

APA Citations

If you are writing your paper using APA formatting, your bibliography page will be titled "References" and will use the following citation formats:

  Format Example
Book Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work. Publisher. Pasquier, R. F. (2015). Painting Central Park. Vendome Press.
Journal Article Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), page range. Rose-Wiles, L. (2018). Reflections on fake news, librarians, and undergraduate research. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 57(3), 200-204.
Magazine Cite like a journal article, but give the year and the month for monthly magazines. Add the day for weekly magazines. Eberhart, G. M. (2019, Nov. 1). Media literacy in an age of fake news. American Libraries Magazine.
Newspaper Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. Krueger, A. (2019, Aug. 10). Where libraries are the tourist attractions. New York Times.
Website Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from [website URL]. American Library Association (2019, Jan. 14). ALA policy on outsourcing and privatization. Retrieved from

MLA Citations

If you are writing your paper using MLA formatting, your bibliography page will be titled "Works Cited" and will use the following citation formats:





Author’s last name, First name (and second author's name if applicable). Title of Source. Publisher, Date of Publication.

Pasquier, Roger F. Painting Central Park. Vendome P, 2015.

Journal Article

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Volume, Issue, Date, pages.

Rose-Wiles, Lisa. "Reflections on Fake News, Librarians, and Undergraduate Research." Reference and User Services Quarterly, vol. 57, no. 3, 2018, pp. 200-04.


Author's name. "Title of Article." Magazine Title, day month year: pages.

Eberhart, George M. "Media Literacy in an Age of Fake News." American Libraries Magazine, 1 Nov. 2019.


Same as magazine.

Krueger, Alyson. "Where Libraries are the Tourist Attractions." New York Times, 10 Aug. 2019.


Author’s name. "Title of Source." Title of Web Site, Other contributors, Institution or organization associated with/producing the website, Date of posting/revision, URL.

"ALA Policy on Outsourcing and Privatization." American Library Association, 14 Jan. 2019,