Citation Styles

What should be cited?

You must cite:

  • Quotes, both sentences and phrases
  • Paraphrases (summarized or rephrased ideas of others)
  • Data or images
  • Studies or material  

You do not need to cite:

  • Common knowledge to your reader (well-known facts, sayings or proverbs)

When in doubt, cite!

Why Cite?

Academic writing builds upon the ideas of others. It is important to credit to those whose work you are putting yourself in conversation with. 

Why cite?

  • To give credit to others for work others have done. This avoids plagiarism. 
  • To show your readers that you have done research.
  • To direct your readers to sources that may be useful to them.
  • To allow your readers to check your sources.

How to cite

There are numerous citation styles. Ask your instructor which style you should use and be consistent. Common style guides are listed below.

ACS Style (chemistry)

APA Style (psychology, education and other social science disciplines)

MLA Style - (language arts, cultural studies and other humanities disciplines) 

NLM/Vancouver Style (sciences, medicine)

Wiley-Blackwell Style (sciences)

Book: Doing Honest Work in College

Pointers for Paraphrasing


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