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Citing Sources and Academic Integrity

Why Citing is Important

It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list

Citing and Plagiarism

What to Cite

You must cite:

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge
  • Ideas, words, or theories that you paraphrase in your own work
  • Exact language that another person used in other publications
  • Publications that must be cited include:  books, book chapters, journal articles, web pages, dissertations and theses, etc.

When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!

About Citations

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.

Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases. 

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. Choose an appropriate style guide for your needs.  Here is an example of an article citation using three different citation styles.  Notice the common elements as mentioned above:

Authors - Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk

Article Title - The Signs of Deconsolidation.

Source Title - Journal of Democracy

Volume and issue - Vol 28, issue 1

Publication Date - 2017

Page numbers - 5-15


American Psychological Association (APA) style:

Foa, R. S., & Mounk, Y. (2017). The Signs of Deconsolidation. Journal of Democracy, 28(1), 5–15.


Chicago Manual of Style:

Foa, Roberto Stefan, and Yascha Mounk. “The Signs of Deconsolidation.” Journal of Democracy 28, no. 1 (January 10, 2017): 5–15.


OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities):


Foa RS and Mounk Y, ‘The Signs of Deconsolidation’ (2017) 28 Journal of Democracy 5


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