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ENGL 1100: Writing I General Guide

Resources and information for students in all Writing 1 sections.

What is citation?

Citation is when the writer of a paper or study notes where they found the information they have used to inform their work. Not only does citation give intellectual credit where credit is due, it provides a complete trail to follow to find that information. This can help other researchers (and you!) find more articles and studies on the same topic.

There are actually many types of citation styles - medical, legal, scientific, humanities - but the links on this page provide resources on the most commonly used citation styles at Fitchburg State.

Why do we cite?

  • CREDIT - To give credit where the words or ideas we use are not our own
  • RETRIEVABILITY - To create a complete pathway back to where we got our information
  • AUTHORITY - To place our ideas in context with the wider discipline
  • REPRODUCIBILITY - To ensure future researchers can replicate our results, if necessary

Remember: If someone can't actually follow a citation back to the information you used, it's like you didn't bother to cite it at all.

Linking is NOT Citing!

Simply adding a link into your text like this is NOT considered citing a source.

To cite this webpage properly, use an in-text citation like the one in this sentence (, 2012).

And then cite it completely in your bibliography:

How do I cite sources? (2012). Retrieved from at

Refworks - Manage your citations

RefWorks is an online citation manager that creates in-text citations and bibliographies, shares citations, and more. You can use RefWorks to:

  • Organize references
  • Format bibliographies
  • Create a database of your own citations
  • Import references directly from library databases
  • Insert in-text citations, footnotes and bibliographies using the Write-n-Cite tool
  • Share your citations with a group

Create your free RefWorks account.

Off-Campus users will need to entergroup code: RWFSC to get access. Choose the "Export to RefWorks" option in most databases. Note: You must have popups enabled for RefWorks to work properly.