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Comm 130 Powell

Why Do We Cite?

Why Cite?

  •  Cite to avoid Plagiarism
  • Citing allows the reader to track down your resources easily and verify your resources.
  • Citing Makes your work more credible if you are using verified sources.
  • Allows you to join the conversation about your topic in the academic community by providing paths to converging ideas.


Watch this video for an introduction to Citations By NCSU Libraries. CC BY NC SA 3.0.

Citing Basics

Be sure to write down as much information as you can while you are first looking at a source in case you need to view it again.  Not sure where to start?  Some good choices include:

         1.  Author or editor
         2.  Title of the book, OR the article AND the journal title
         3.  Publisher
         4.  Place of publication for a book OR Volume and issue number of the journal or magazine
         5.  Date of publication
         6.  URL and/or the database name
         7.  Date you accessed an electronic document

If you have the relevant information listed above you will be able to create your bibliography Saving this information will generally allow you to put together your reference page at the end of your paper in any format needed. When accessing material, save enough information so that you can find the material again.  Since this is one primary purpose of citations, noting the following for any material you use will allow you to find it again AND cite it.



APA Basics

Owl Guides listed below give formulas and examples of how to cite different sources in your work cited list (reference list).

ZBib - Automated Bibliography Formatting

Citation Generators are web form for automatic citation generation for use in papers.  My favorite is ZoteroBib


  • Zotero Bib