Citing sources is a way to credit the sources you use to inform your academic work.This of it as a way to engage in a larger conversation with those interested in your research are. Citation helps you to support your own ideas with evidence and previous research and to 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.
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. The most common citation style used in English and in literature is MLA style (from the Modern Language Association). Sometimes you may also be asked Chicago style (17th edition).
The 9th edition recently replaced the 8th edition. There are minor changes between the 8th and 9th editions.
In-text citations are included in the main body of a text. They usually appear in the following contexts:
For more detailed information, please see the Purdue Online Writing Lab on Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
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.
Using the components below will help you integrate sources into your writing.
Contact the RU Writing Center for more in-depth help with integrating sources.
Citation management software can help you manage your sources and cite while writing. RU students, faculty, and staff have access to several citation management programs.