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Library DIY

Navigating UWG library resources and research

Why cite sources?

Citing sources is a way to credit the sources you use to inform your academic work. Citation helps you support your own ideas with evidence and previous research and make connections between your ideas and those of others.  Use clear references and citations to indicate from whom the ideas come.

Avoid inserting source information without adding your own analysis; instead include your own voice and your own analysis and ideas. You will likely want to include sources which are are in agreement AND in disagreement with your own views. This way you can recognize and respond to multiple perspectives on the given issue. In doing so, you can make your own argument stronger.

Citation style guides

When you use sources to think and write about a topic, you will almost always need to cite those sources following a specific citation style. Below are guides for the most common citation styles.

American Psychological Association (APA) Style, 7th edition

Turabian/Chicago Style, 17th edition

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style, 8th edition

American Political Science Association (APSA) Style, Revised 2018 edition

Common forms of citation

In-text citations

In-text citations are included in the main body of a text. They usually appear in the following contexts:

  • Direct Quote: Someone else's exact words, placed in quotation marks and followed by a parenthetical citation.
  • Paraphrase: Someone else's ideas explained in your own words, followed by a parenthetical citation. 
  • Summary: Similar to a paraphrase, but used to give an overview of many ideas (explained in your own words), followed by a parenthetical citation.

For more detailed information, please see the Purdue Online Writing Lab on Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

References list

A reference list (sometimes called a bibliography or works cited page) appears at the end of a written text. It includes the full citations for all referenced sources.

Integrating sources into writing

Using the components below will help you integrate sources into your writing.

  • Introductory phrase to the source material: More about Signal Phrases or Introductory Phrases
  • Source material: A direct quote, paraphrase, or summary with proper citation
  • Analysis of source material: After presenting the source material explain, analyze it, and relate it to your own ideas. This is crucial, and many people forget to do it!

Contact the UWG Writing Center for more in-depth help with integrating sources.