How do I cite my sources?

Why Citing is Important

Citation is an important part of the research process because …

  • It allows others to identify and locate the materials used in your work. Many readers rely on citations and footnotes to identify other relevant literature on a topic.
  • It demonstrates the depth of your research showing that you have read and engaged the relevant literature on your topic. This indicates that you have an informed understanding of your subject and enhances the credibility of your findings.
  • It allows you to give proper credit for the ideas of others and avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism refers to the process of copying the work of others and submitting it as one’s own. Plagiarism is a violation of the College of Staten Island’s Academic Integrity policy. For further information on plagiarism and tips on how to avoid it, check out Baruch College’s Plagiarism Tutorial.

What Needs to be Cited

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you must cite the source using either a parenthetical citation, footnote, or endnote. In addition, a bibliography or list of works cited, is almost always placed at the end of your paper.

Parenthetical citations (also referred to as “in-text citations”) are abbreviated citations that direct readers to the full bibliographic citations listed in your works cited. In most cases, parenthetical citations include the author’s last name and the page number for the information cited.

Footnotes and endnotes contain full bibliographic citations for the first time a source is cited and abbreviated citations (author’s last name and page number) for each successive citation. The primary difference between footnotes and endnotes is that footnotes are placed numerically at the foot of the same page where the references are made, while endnotes are placed numerically at the end of the essay on a separate page entitled Endnotes or Notes.

The precise format of your citations depends on which citation style you use.

Which Citation Style to Use

Different academic disciplines use different citation styles. The three most popular citation styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago. Usually your professor will specify which citation style they prefer, but there are some general guidelines for which style is most common in certain fields.

MLA

Often used for: Art, Literature, and the Humanities

MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Description: Quick reference guide to the MLA style offering examples of common citations.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Location: 1st Fl Reference LB2369.G53 2009
Description: The authoritative source for MLA citation style and writing guidelines; most commonly used in English and the Humanities.

APA

Often used for: Psychology and the Social Sciences

APA Style Guide
Description: Quick reference guide to the APA style offering examples of common citations.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Location: 1st Fl Reference BF76.7.P83 2010
Description: The authoritative source for APA citation style and writing guidelines for the Social and Behaviorial Sciences.

Chicago

Often used for: History, Humanities, and the Sciences

Chicago Style Guide
Description: Quick reference guide to the Chicago style offering examples of common citations.

Chicago Manual of Style Online
Description: Electronic edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Chicago Manual of Style
Location: 1st Fl Reference Z253.U69 2010
Description: The authoritative source for Chicago citation style and writing guidelines used in History and the Humanities.

Citation Tools

Citation tools, or bibliographic citation managers, allow you to collect and store citations for books and articles found in library catalogs and databases. Some citation tools can be integrated with word processing applications (like Microsoft Word) to automatically generate in-text citations and bibliographies in whatever citation format you specify. Citation tools help you better manage your research sources and save you alot of time when writing your papers.

RefWorks
Web-based bibliographic citation manager that allows researchers to create their own personal database of research references by importing records from library catalogs and online databases. Researchers can organize, store, and access their references from their online RefWorks account as well as automatically generate formatted citations and bibliographies in any style. This is a CSI Library subscription resource. For college login information, contact the Library Reference Desk (718.982.4010) or Naomi Gold (718.982.4097).

EndNote Web
Web-based bibliographic citation manager available through Web of Knowledge that allows researchers to store and organize references imported from databases and automatically generate formatted bibliographies. Registration is required. If you already have a Web of Knowledge account, you can use the same login to access EndNote Web.

Zotero
A free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Zotero offers an easy way to collect, tag, and share citations simply by clicking a button in your web browser.

KnightCite
KnightCite is a free online citation generator. Simply enter information about the item you want to cite (author, title, publisher, etc.) and KnightCite will automatically generate a properly formatted citation in the style you choose (MLA, APA, or Chicago). Registered users can save and order lists of citations for a bibliography and export them into a Microsoft Word document.

Citation Machine
Citation Machine is free online citation generator. Users can enter information about the source they need to cite (author, title, publisher, etc.) and Citation Machine will automatically generate standard bibliographic and in-text citations in the style of their choice (MLA, APA, Turabian, or Chicago).

Writing Guides

For more information about conducting research, writing and formatting papers, citing sources, and creating bibliographies, please consult the following writing guides:

A Writer’s Reference
Location: 1st Fl Reserves PE1408.H2778 2007
Description: Handbook for writing college papers and citing sources in APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles
Location: 1st Fl Reference PN171.F56L55 2006
Description: Offers guidance on how to cite sources and avoid plagiarism; covers all different citation styles (Chicago, MLA, APA, CSE, AMA, ACS, etc.) with examples drawn from a range of sources crossing all disciplines.

Craft of Research
Location: 1st Fl Reference Q180.55.M4 B66 1995
Description: Guide for planning, carrying out, and reporting on research for any field and at any level. Demonstrates how to choose a topic, plan and organize research, and draft and revise a report.

Handbook of Technical Writing
Location: 1st Fl Reference T11.B78 1997
Description: Guide to research, writing, and documentation in the sciences with abundant examples and sample documents.

Pocket Style Manual
Location: 1st Fl Reference Desk PE1408.H26 2004
Description: Concise pocket guide for writing college papers and citing sources in APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab [OWL] for APA
Location: Online
Description: An electronic reference source created by Purdue University for citing sources in APA format.

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab [OWL] for Chicago
Location: Online
Description: An electronic reference source created by Purdue University for citing sources in Chicago format.

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab [OWL] for MLA
Location: Online
Description: An electronic reference source created by Purdue University for citing sources in MLA format.

Science and Technical Writing: A Manual of Style
Location: 1st Fl Reference T11.S378 2001
Description: Offers instruction on how to write and publish scientific papers, including paragraphing, grammar, punctuation and spelling as well as how to present numbers, mathematical symbols and scientific notation.

Scientific Writing: A Reader and Writer’s Guide
Location: 1st Fl Reference T11.L455 2007
Description: Step-by-step guide to writing scientific research papers as well as useful tips for keeping readers engaged.

Work of Writing: Insights and Strategies for Academics and Professionals
Location: 1st Fl Reference PE1404.R356 2001
Description: Offers instruction on producing lively and engaging academic writing; deals with the complex issues of purpose, audience, genre, and voice as opposed to technical details of structure and format.