"Citation Help" provides information about citing sources using different style guides (APA, MLA, etc.), managing your citations with RefWorks or EndNote, tips on avoiding plagiarism, and creating annotated bibliographies. Choose a topic link above or from the menu at the left, or continue reading to learn some basics about citations.
A citation, or reference, is the quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing of someone else's work, used as a basis for your own ideas and research. A citation also refers to the information about a source, such as title, author, date, etc., which gives credit to the original author and shows readers where to find the original work. There are two parts to a citation: the in-text citation, which goes next to the quoted material, and the reference list citation, found at the end of a paper or report. This list is also called a bibliography.
Citations should follow a standardized format from a style guide such as APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association). Article databases have generic citations that you can put into other styles; you can also find all the necessary information from the source itself.
Generic database citation, from Academic Search Premier:
The same citation, in MLA style:
In APA style:
|See more examples in the quick guides on the style guides page.|
You need to cite anything that is not common knowledge, including when you don't use a word-for-word quote but still describe the main ideas or heart of a passage (called paraphrasing). But citing sources is more than just avoiding plagiarism. Citations give credibility to your work by showing that you've consulted other expert research, and references strengthen your work by putting it into meaningful context. You can cite other sources to establish general background information. More importantly, you can use them...
- to support your ideas and research by building upon the citation or showing how it complements your own work
- as a point of departure for a different point of view
- to show conflict by using two or more citations from different sources to reveal disagreement about or contradictions within a topic, then exploring that tension with your own ideas, introducing new aspects
|Learn more about when to cite and see examples of paraphrasing and quoting on the plagiarism page.|
Most UVic departments use well-known systems such as APA and MLA, while some develop their own style guides or have you use the style of a particular journal. Ask your instructor what style to use. If your instructor lets you decide, choose the one you like best or are most familiar with, and be consistent—he or she may not care what style you use, but you will likely be marked down if you use it incorrectly or combine different styles.
For more information contact:Teaching and Learning Office