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Citations 101

Welcome to the citation guide!

Here is where you can find information on how, when, and why to cite sources. Use the tabs above to choose the appropriate citation style for your class. If you aren't sure which citation style you should be using, simply ask your teacher.

We recommend you use NoodleTools to create and track your citations. Our library has a subscription to NoodleTools, so all you have to do is create an account by clicking the link on the right. Had a NoodleTools account at one time but can't remember how to log in?

Simply stop by the library for help!

why do i even need to cite stuff anyway?

Citations build a foundation for your work. Our knowledge of any particular subject is built upon the scholarship and hard work of others. When you are writing a paper, creating a presentation, or doing an experiment, it's only fair that you acknowledge that effort, since you were able to create the project/paper/thesis you did thanks in part to the groundwork laid by those who have come before you.

Citations help your readers to find the sources for themselves. Someone interested in your topic may want to read the articles and other sources you used to write your paper. The citation within the paper tells them what part of your argument is best addressed by a particular source, and the full citation in the bibliography provides all the information needed to locate the original work.

Citations make your arguments more credible. You want to use the very best evidence to support your claims, and citing good sources will up your own credibility as a scholar and writer. For example, if you are citing a statistic about a disease, you should use a reputable source like the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control (CDC). When you tell your reader the statistic comes from such a source, she will know to trust it- and thereby trust your argument more.

Citations show you've done your homework. You want to make it clear that you've researched your subject and know what you are talking about. Citations reveal the depth and breadth of the work that you did to create your paper, project, or thesis. Having a variety of sources, source types, or authors will show that you didn't just consult the first three search results.

Citations are symbiotic: both the creator of a work and the reader of that work benefit. The above reasons all presume that you are the creator, the one making or writing something that needs citations. But think about it from the perspective of the reader. While researching a particular topic, you will need to do a lot of reading and research. The presence of citations in the works that you consult will tell you about the quality of the work (for all those above reasons) and give you a potential pathway to find new resources in your research. 

cite with noodletools

Citations are vital to the research process.

Use NoodleTools to create and track citations, take notes, save time, increase your credibility, and ensure your academic integrity.

style guides : the books