Skip to main content

Get Started With Research

Use this guide to become a more skillful researcher. Learn how to develop research questions, choose credible sources, evaluate your sources, cite them correctly, and avoid plagiarism

Tips for Citing Sources

It's important to make sure you collect all the information you need to cite a source as you gather your information so that you won't need to look it up again, so:

  • Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas
  • Write down the complete citation information for each book, article, etc. you use as you go along
  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words
  • Always credit original authors for their information and ideas

Citing Sources Matters

When you write a research paper, you use information and facts from a variety of resources to support your own ideas or to help you develop new ones. Books, articles, videos, interviews, and Web sites are some examples of sources you might use.

Citing these sources of information in your work is essential because:

  • It gives credit to the author of the original work who provided you with the information or idea
  • It allows your audience to identify and find the source material in order to learn more about your topic
  • It gives your paper more credibility because it shows you're supporting your arguments with high-quality source. It also helps earn your readers' trust because you're telling your readers the source of your facts so that they can confirm them for themselves
  • It helps you avoid plagiarism

This three-min. video from The Harness Library illustrates why it's important for you to cite your sources. Watch, Learn, and Enjoy!

_____________________________

What Do You Cite?

Cite all outside sources you use in your research paper! Citing is required for sources you:

Quote word-for-word,

Paraphrase (rewrite using your own words), and

Summarize (rewrite the main concept or idea in your own words).

 

Citation Styles

Your instructor should tell you which citation style he or she wants you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.