5.2 What is a Citation?

While there are many different citation stylesA specific format for citing materials that defines what order citation parts appear in and the punctuation used.question mark question mark, every citation includes basic information:
  • Author
  • Title
  • Source

Depending on my citation style, I will need to put the information in the correct order. I want to show you how to use APA, which is the one you will be using for this class.

Why Cite?

I need to cite my sources for several reasons:
  • To give credit. With a citation, I give credit to the original author for his or her work. This also helps prevent plagiarism.
  • To establish the accuracy of the facts. I need to get my facts right and show the person reading my paper where the information originally appeared. Citations allow the person reading my paper to judge the facts' reliability, or verify the facts themselves.
  • To place the work in context. Citations help show connections to other research in the field and may help readers understand my work.
  • To assist readers with their research. In addition to helping readers understand the research, my citations may help readers in their own research.
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