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McEntegart Library Guide

Citation Styles

When incorporating other's research into your own, you must cite their work.

The citation style you use may vary by subject. The most popular styles are:



Plagiarism is:

  • "...the act of copying, stealing, or representing the ideas or words [images or sounds] of another as one's own, without giving credit to the source." (From SJC Student Handbook)                   

Why Cite Your Sources:

  • To give credit where credit is due
  • To give credibility to your research
  • To enable your readers to retrace your research steps
  • To practice academic honesty and integrity 

Do You Need to Cite Everything?

You do not need to cite common knowledge. Something is common knowledge if it can be found in many different sources and is a well known fact. Examples:

  • Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  • George Washington was the first President of the United States

Integrating Sources

Four main ways of incorporating sources into your paper:

  • Direct Quote: An exact, word-for-word excerpt from another's work set off by quotation marks ("quote") or in block quote format in your writing.
  • Block Quote: An exactly quoted excerpt of more than 40 words.
  • Paraphrase: To put source's words, ideas, and research into your own words.
  • Summary: As a kind of comprehensive paraphrase, a summary briefly condenses another author's main points into an overview or synopsis.

Represent the original source accurately, and cite it carefully!!!

Definitions excerpted from "APA Style of Documentation: a Pocket Guide" by M. Pringle & J. Gonzales (2010)

Paraphrasing, Summarizing & Quoting


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