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General Research Guide: Citations

A short introduction to the resources and services the library has to offer that is not subject specific.

Why Cite?

When you research a topic you may use information from articles, books, or the Web to support your ideas. However, you must credit the original authors of these sources by citing them. To cite means that you state where you found the information so that others can find the exact item again. In this way we build upon the ideas and knowledge of other people.

Quick Tips:

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

Citation Tips

  • Email yourself a copy of any articles or websites you are using.  This ensures you will have the correct information when writing your paper.
  • Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words.
  • Credit original authors for not just their words, but also their ideas.
  • The OWL, The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University is one of the best sources for learning more about citing and formatting your papers.

The Styles

There are a few main styles for citing sources, so check with your instructor about which style to use for your research.  Follow the links below for more information on each style.

APA, American Psychological Association, is used for scientific and technical research. Instructors in behavioral science and hard science courses may require you to use APA  style for your references or bibliography page.

MLA, Modern Language Association, is used for research on general topics and literary criticism. Most instructors in English and Developmental Studies classes will require  you to use MLA style.

A few instructors prefer Chicago Manual of Style.  This style is used primarily in history and other social science research.

Citation Tools: NoodleTools

NoodleTools is an online tool for creating works cited lists. Use it with MLA, APA, or Chicago styles. It helps you create your citations, and generates your bibliography. Create folders and store citations for multiple projects.

CCAC provides NoodleTools to current students, faculty and staff. Email library@ccac.edu if you have any questions.  Show me how

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