Citing Sources: Style Guides

This guide provides an overview on why you need to cite your sources and how to read citations.
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Why do I need to cite my sources?

When you quote or paraphrase the idea of another person in your research paper or speech, you must provide a proper citation for the source. If you use other people's words or ideas without properly giving them credit, you are committing plagiarism, which is a serious NSU honor code violation as well as a federal crime.

Proper citations:

  • give credit to the author
  • enable others to locate the resource you cited
  • improve the credibility of your work, especially if you cited authoritative sources

How to Know When to Cite:

Citation Style Guides

Citation Styles

The format of a proper citation depends upon the citation style being used.  Most commonly, students are required to use APA or MLA.  
For consistency, both of these styles provide specific standards for:

  • citing within the body of a paper (in text)
  • a bibliography or reference list at the end of a paper

Understanding Citations

A citation is a reference to a source of information. It should include enough identifying information, including such information as the author, title, and source, so that a reader can locate a copy of the item. You will need to know how to interpret citations that you find in indexes and bibliographies and how to cite sources for your own references. Citations may reference any type of information including: