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ID 201 Transition Success DAY: Citation Assistance

This guide was developed for students enrolled in ID 201 DAY classes.

Visit our Citation Assistance Page

What is a Citation?

Person holding a sign reading "citation needed"

What is a Citation?

A citation is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source and gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again. Citations may include: Information about the Author(s) or Editor(s).

  • The Title of the work
  • The Publisher
  • The Date published
  • The Page Numbers of the material you are referencing
  • Why should I cite sources?

Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people's work without plagiarizing. But there are a number of other reasons to cite sources:

  • Citations are extremely helpful to anyone who wants to find out more about your ideas and where they came from.
  • Not all sources are good or right for your project -- your own ideas may often be more accurate or interesting than those of your sources. Proper citation will keep you from taking the rap for someone else's bad ideas.
  • Citing sources shows the amount of research you've done.
  • Citing sources strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas.

Doesn't citing sources make my work seem less original?

Not at all. Citing sources actually helps your reader distinguish your ideas from those of your sources. This will emphasize the originality of your own work. It also gives you greater credibility because you are demonstrating your knowledge on the subject and your understanding of the work that's already been done by others on the subject.

When do I need to cite?

Whenever you borrow words or ideas from another source, you need to acknowledge that source. The following situations almost always require a citation:

  • Whenever you use quotes
  • Whenever you paraphrase
  • Whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed
  • Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another
  • Whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas

Citation Managers & Generators

Photo of a stack of booksCitation managers help you organize your sources and format citations into different citation styles. Citation managers allow you to save and organize your source information, so you can easily access sources again and create formatted reference pages. Each one works differently and has different features, but all are helpful tools that save you time and energy, so choose the one that works best for you and use it often! While citation generators are good tools to help make citations easy, remember to always check the results for proper formatting.

The Library suggests this online citation generator: 

Overview of APA Style

Seventh Edition

Disciplines within the Social Sciences typically use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) as the preferred style of citation.

APA Manual

Overview of MLA Style

Modern Language Association (MLA)

The recommended style of citation used in the Arts and Humanities is the MLA style. This style is used when citing materials used in writing papers, journal reviews, and other assignments requiring documentation supporting your research.

MLA Citation Assistance

Modern Language Association (MLA)

The recommended style of citation used in the Arts and Humanities is the MLA style. This style is used when citing materials used in writing papers, journal reviews, and other assignments requiring documentation supporting your research.

If you are experiencing problems with our guides, please contact Janet S. Ward, jward@limestone.edu, Associate Professor and Web Services Librarian.