Monday, March 29, 2010

Citing Your Sources

In scholarly research, it's always obligatory to cite your sources, that is, make footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical references and a bibliography or works cited.

  • to give your readers the ability to trace your research back to its sources, and explore those sources
  • to give credit where credit's due
Citing sources is much too complicated to address in one blog post, but here are some tips:

The citation style you use depends on the subject area you're working in and your instructor's preference. Check with your instructor before committing!
  • If you are working in the social sciences and business, you probably need to use APA.
  • In the humanities, you should probably use MLA.
  • For history, use Chicago.
  • The sciences often use CSE.
Citing is not an exact science.
  • If you do not have all the information called for, simply fill in the information you do have.
  • If you cannot figure out which type of source you have, pick the one that seems closest.
  • If you are very confused, Ask a Librarian.
The most important thing is to help your reader find the exact same thing you were looking at. Keep that in mind and you can't go wrong!

Empire State College Library provides access to a tool that can simplify and streamline your whole research process. It helps you keep track of the information sources you're using and when you write your paper, it inserts and formats citations where you need them. It's called RefWorks, and you can sign up for an account and get more information about it here.

Questions? Ask a Librarian

No comments: