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Citing and Evaluating Sources: What is a citation?

"A citation or reference is a short description of a resource that is used in a paper or project.  Whenever you refer to an idea that is not originally yours, or quote someone else's work, you must give credit to the originator by citing that source in your paper.  You should also provide documentation for any facts or figures you use that are not common knowledge.  All the sources you use will be compiled into a list at the end of your paper.  This is called a Bibliography, Reference List, or Works Cited." UAB Lister Hill Library

Citation Styles

Parts of a Citation.

Depending on the style, a citation will include title, author, date, page numbers, publisher, place of publication, etc.

Used with permission from UAB Lister Hill Library - Go to their LibGuide for more information.

Why Do We Cite?

Citations reflect the careful and thorough work you have put into locating and exploring your sources.
Citations help readers understand the context of your argument and are a courtesy to the reader, who may share your interest in a particular area of study.
Citations allow you to acknowledge those authors who contributed to your learning and your work.
Citations, by illustrating your own learning process, also draw attention to the originality and legitimacy of your own ideas.
By citing sources you demonstrate your integrity and skill as a responsible student and participant in your field of study.


"When and Why to Cite Sources." University at Albany. N.p., 2010. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. <>.

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RefWorks is a database that you create with your own research. You need to create an account with Refworks that you can log into. You export or add citations to your account to create a body of research for your papers and projects. You can also create Works Cited pages, bibliographies of your sources for your papers in APA or any other style that is listed. When accessing Refworks from off campus, there is a code you will need to use. You can call the reference desk at 823-1984 for the Otterbein code.