cite a source?

Caution: citing sources can be tricky! Please contact the librarian for additional help! You can also download a Plagarism & Citation handout here.

Plagiarism means copying another person’s words or ideas without giving him or her credit. Simply rewording another person’s idea does not make it your own. Plagiarism violates the ICC Student Code of Conduct, and it’s against the law. You violate copyright holders’ rights when you use their work without citing it.

A citation is a reference to the source that you have used; it provides documentation about where you got your information. Citations can come in the form of footnotes, parenthetical notations, bibliographies, or some combination of all three. Citations tell your reader where you got the quotes and information you’ve used in your paper. When in doubt, it’s better to cite a source rather than leave it out. Facts that are common knowledge (like the year that Columbus sailed to America) do not need to be cited.

Citations are important because they “give credit to the authors of the source materials;” “enable readers to follow up on the source materials;” and “demonstrate that your paper is well-researched” (HBS Citation Guide, 4). In other words, citations not only protect you from accusations of plagiarism, but they also prove that you’ve done your work well, and make it possible for others to benefit from the sources you’ve used.

Both the Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) have established systems for citations. For short papers, I recommend the MLA’s author-date system. You simply cite the last name of the author, the year of the publication, and the page number in a parenthetical notation in the text itself followed by the medium of the work. The quotes I used from The Chicago Manual of Style, and the parenthetical notations that follow them, are a variation on this. Footnotes are another common method. There are examples of MLA citation below

Examples of Bibliographic Styles for MLA

In-Text Citation

In the body of the paper:

As The Chicago Manual of Style notes, copying is permitted “for the purposes of review or criticism or to illustrate or buttress [your] own points” (135).

On the bibliography page:

The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Print.

 Note: Include the name of the author (or the name of the book, if there is no author) in the parenthetical notation only if you don’t mention it in the text. See the difference between the two examples above to understand how this works.

Footnotes/Endnotes :

In the body of the paper:

Copying is permitted “for the purposes of review or criticism or to illustrate or buttress [your] own points.”[1]

At the bottom of the page or the end of the paper:

[1]The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Print.

 Resources: Websites

MLA Formatting and Style Guide. 2013. Purdue University.

Refworks. 2013.

Zotero. 2013. George Mason University.

Resources: Books

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010. Print.

The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. Print.

Sample Bibliography

 “Chef Grant Achatz of Alinea – Biography.” Apr. 2012. Web. 20 Aug. 2013.

Andrés, José, and Richard Wolffe. Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2005. Print.

Flay, Bobby, and Julia Moskin. Bobby Flay Cooks American: Great Regional Recipes with Sizzling New Flavors. New York: Hyperion, 2001. Print.

Pépin, Jacques, Léon Perer, and Tom Hopkins. Jacques Pépin’s New CompleteTechniques. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2012. Print

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Press, 2006. Print.

Sistema, Robert. “Sistema on the State of Restaurant Criticism.”, 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2013.

Stanek, Amiel. “Fermentation Nation.” Bon Appétit Sept. 2013: 76. Print.