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Citations Aren't Scary

by Meghan Kowalski on 2019-10-27T09:00:00-04:00 | Comments

Halloween is only a few days away, but there is one thing you don’t have to be afraid of: Citations! They may seem overwhelming, but there is nothing to fear. 

Citations are an important part of academic research and writing. You need to cite your sources in order to indicate which ideas you are taking from others, to give credit where credit is due, and to avoid plagiarism.  

When you use citations, you become a part of the scholarly conversation. Citations show how your argument is built on the work of others. They also allow your readers to look up the work of the writers you used. Research is not created in a vacuum. Everyone builds on the work of those who came before them. When you use citations, you become a part of the scholarly world. 

Citations are typically found in two places: in-text or in a reference list like a bibliography. In-text citations are used after you summarize, paraphrase, or quote another writer. Examples of in-text citations include parentheses, footnotes, or endnotes. A reference list or bibliography provides details of all the sources you used. Each citation includes important information like the author’s name, the title, publication information, and, if you used an online resource, a URL. 

Creating a citation can be intimidating at first, but it gets easier with practice. There are numerous citation styles – APA, MLA, and Chicago to name a few. Which one you use will depend on your professor’s preference or your academic discipline. 

We love these great resources to help you learn how to build and use citations: 

You can learn even more about citations in our Citing Sources guide. 

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