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Citing Sources

Getting Started

We understand that citing your sources can be a little confusing, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Before you start, ask yourself these questions:

1. What type of source am I trying to cite?

  • Journal article? Book? Webpage?

2. Where did I retrieve that source?

  • Library database? Website? Was it a print source?

3. What citation style am I supposed to use for my assignment?

  • APA? MLA?

Once you've answered these questions, select the most appropriate option from either the APA or MLA dropdown menu on the left to see examples.

Need for more help? Look under the Getting Started and Academic Honesty menus to find more information that will help get you started. Remember, individual help is always available through the Center for Academic Enhancement or ask a librarian.

When to Cite Sources

The purpose of using citations is to let the reader know where you obtained your information so sources can easily be located and consulted. You must document your sources when you provide information that you ordinarily would not have known before conducting your research.

You must cite when you:

  • Discuss or paraphrase someone else's ideas
  • Provide a direct quotation
  • Use statistical or other data

For more information, see "What Information Should Be Cited and Why?"

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