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Citing Sources

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


 The Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide  by the Chicago Manual of Style Online provides some brief information and examples of this form of citation. 

The OWL at Purdue provides resources that may useful for writing projects & citation help in Chicago Style. 

You can also find information about Chicago Style at the University of Wisconsin - Madison Writing Center. 

About Chicago and Turabian Style

Chicago style consists of two forms of documentation: the notes-bibliography form (also known as documentary note or bibliography style) is generally used in the humanties (literature and history courses). In this style bibliographic citations are placed in a note at the bottom of the page or an endnote and at the end of a paper in a bibliography. The parenthetical citations-reference list style or the reference list style is used in most social sciences, as well as the physical and natural science). Turabian "style" is a modified version of Chicago style.

Always check with your faculty member to see whether you should use the notes-bibliography format or the parenthetical citations-reference format. 

This guide refers to the notes-bibliography format only.

Where to Begin

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?

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

Style Guides

Copies of The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) and A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago Style for students and researchers (8th edition) are found in the reference and check out collections of the Library, as well as the reference section of the Newtown LRC.

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