Citation : citing the references

Why is Citing Sources Important?

  • To give credit to ideas that are not your own
  • To provide support for your argument
  • To enable your reader to find and read the sources you used
  • To avoid Honor Code infractions

What Needs to be Cited?

  • Exact wording taken from any source, including freely available websites
  • Paraphrases of passages
  • Summaries of another person’s work
  • Indebtedness to another person for an idea
  • Use of another student’s work
  • Use of your own previous work

You do not need to cite common knowledge.

What’s Involved in Citing Correctly?

In most citation styles, two parts are needed:

  1. An in-text citation
    Whenever you refer to the work of another person, you must indicate within the text where you got the information. The in-text citation provides a brief reference and points your reader to the complete citation.
  2. A list of works used
    The final page of your paper is usually a list of resources you cited or consulted.

Use the tabs above to learn about these two parts in your chosen citation style.

What Citation Style Should I Use?

Use the style recommended by your professor or choose one of the major styles below based on the discipline for your paper:

What is Common Knowledge?

Widely-known, generally-accepted information that is not attributable to one source.


  • Jawaharlal Nehru is the first Prime Minister of India. (common knowledge, no citation needed)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru became the president of Congress in 1929(not common knowledge, citation needed)

What is considered common knowledge can be tricky. When in doubt, ask your professor!