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Information Literacy for TESU Students

Information Literacy for TESU Students

Why should we cite our sources?

The following is a short video tutorial from the North Carolina State University Libraries that talks about the necessity of citation in academic writing. 

Accurately citing the sources you used in your research is an essential skill for both students and professionals.

Why should you cite? Here are a few good reasons:

  • Citation provides your readers - and your instructors - with a way of tracing the research that you are using to support your paper's claims.
  • It allows those reading your paper to understand where your work fits in with the rest of published research.
  • It provides your readers with a reading list, if interest warrants further exploration of the subject you are discussing.
  • Citation also prevents you from accidentally plagiarizing another person's work.

"When in doubt, cite!" is an excellent maxim to keep in mind when working on a research paper or project.

Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations almost always require citation:

  • Whenever you use quotes.

  • Whenever you paraphrase.

  • Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another.

  • Whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.

Because I've borrowed the words above from the website, I include an APA-style citation here, so that I can correctly credit that website for the information that I've used. Not doing so would constitute plagiarism.

What's a Citation? (n.d.) Retrieved December 18, 2015, from <>

The following is a list of links that you may find helpful in defining plagiarism and in clarifying the citation process.

APA Resources

APA Citation Links

APA Style: Learning APA Style
The APA style website, with a number of tutorials and learning resources.

APA Style Blog
The APA also publishes an excellent blog that addresses many questions regarding citing in the APA style.

Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide
The excellent guide to citing in the APA style, from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.

MLA Resources

MLA Citation Links

Database Citation Tools

Most databases provide citation tools for use within the database itself. For instance, EBSCO's citation tool appears to the right hand EBSCO's Citation Tool Iconside of an article or abstract; you'll see icons for print, e-mail, add to folder, and finally cite. When you click on cite, it will cause a new window to open with the article cited in various styles. Copy the citation style you desire and paste wherever it needs to go, while making sure to check the citation for accuracy and formatting. 

ProQuest's citation tool appears in the toolbar directly above the list of returned search results, or in the same toolbar above an indicated article. The process is much the same; a new window will pop open, and allow you to indicate the style you need the citation to appear in. Cut and paste into your document, check for accuracy and formatting, and you're done. 

Online Citation Assistance

The following links will provide access to free, online citation assistance. Mendeley and Zotero are more fully-featured services, while EasyBib and Citation Machine will easily output citations in whatever style you indicate, based on your input. Please use these services with the understanding that none are perfect, and that you may have to manipulate your results in order to produce correct citations.

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