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IGED 280/ENSC 460: Climate Change and Carbon Reduction: Citing and Citations

What is a Citation?

Giving credit were credit is due is an important and highly regarded concept in academic work. It is the way we acknowledge the many foundations on which our own endeavors are built -- citing is not something created just to annoy you. It is a fundamental aspect of being someone who learns.

A citation should be created when:

  • Paraphrasing
  • Quoting
  • Summarizing

In general, when you create a citation what you are doing is recording the following information:

  • Author or authors
  • Title of work
  • When it was published
  • Where it was published
  • Where to find it (url, volume, chapter, etc)

Why Cite?

In short, you have to. To not cite your sources would be plagiarism. 

But citations also serve an important academic purpose. Citations allow you to give credit where credit is due, but they also allow your readers to find your sources. In providing the information required by MLA citations, you provide a road map for future readers to follow.

Citation Chaining

Citation chaining is the practice of searching one source's citations for other sources that could be useful to you. While it might feel a little like cheating, it's actually a great way to understand the larger scholarly conversation around your topic, and to find relevant sources, especially if a database search isn't giving you many results.

In order to do this successfully, you have to be able to identify the type of source being cited to understand how and where to look for it.

If the source is a book, you can search the library catalog (UDC Search). If UDC does not have a copy, you might be able to request the book through Consortium Loan Service from another library in the Washington Research Library Consortium.

If the source is an article, you can also search the catalog by the title (often times, quotation marks around the title are needed). Once again, if UDC does not have access to the article, you may be able to request it from another library in the WRLC. If the catalog returns no results, you can also try Google Scholar.

Please note that in most cases, you should not need to pay for articles. If you cannot find it freely accessible via the catalog or Google Scholar, please contact a librarian to help you acquire a copy.


Online Guides:

APA Formatting and Style Guide from OWL at Purdue

American Psychological Association (APA) Documentation from University of Wisconsin-Madison

APA Style from UDC

Burke's Parlor

“Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress.”

Burke, Kenneth. The Philosophy of Literary Form. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1941.

Citation Practice: In text Citations

In text citation examples (with annotations)

  • This document contains examples of ways you can use information from a source with comments


Excerpt from a scholarly article.

Similar to the examples found in "In text Citation Examples," wite a sentence (or two) summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting the excerpt 

Submit your text via this form.

Sample paraphraphs 

  • We will be using these paraphraphs taken from scholarly articles to analyze for different ways they have used source material

As you read the paragraphs, look for:

  • Quotes
  • Paraphrases/Summaries
  • Citations without quotations
  • Citations without the author’s name (because name is mentioned in the text)
  • Citations with one author
  • Citations with two authors
  • Citations with more than two authors
  • Organizational Author
  • Citation that lists multiple sources
  • Brackets and ellipses – you can make the text work for you.
  • Commentary from the article author/authorial assertions

How well do you think the author used evidence to support their argument?

Citation Practice: Reference List

The below citations each have one mistake in them. Identify the errors.

  • Haeberli, W., & Hölzle, M. (1995). Application of inventory data for estimating characteristics of and regional climate-change effects on mountain glaciers: a pilot study with the European Alps. Annals of glaciology21(1), 206-212.
  • Sawyer, D. (2008). Climate Change, Biofuels and Eco-social Impacts in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences363(1498), 1747-1752.
  • Tilman, D., Socolow, R., Foley, J. A., Hill, J., Larson, E., Lynd, L. & Williams, R. (2009). Beneficial biofuels—the food, energy, and environment trilemma. Science325(5938), p. 270-271.
  • Watson, R. T., Zinyowera, M. C., & Moss, R. H. (1998). The regional impacts of climate change: an assessment of vulnerability. Cambridge University Press
  • HARVEY, M., & PILGRIM, S. (2011). The new competition for land: Food, energy, and climate change. Food Policy36, S40-S51.

Subject Guide

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Faith Rusk
Building 39, Room B020
Van Ness Campus


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Zotero is a free standalone program that works with the Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browsers to provide a simple way to save the information for citations, organize that information, and format the information based on a particular citation style.

For more information, consult our guide to Zotero and visit the Zotero website.