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ENGL 1100: Writing I (Chisunka): Citing Your Sources

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.

APA Style - Social Sciences

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is primarily used for the social sciences - psychology, sociology, criminal justice - but can also be used in other subjects.

Helpful APA related sites to assist you with proper citations:

MLA Style - Humanities

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is primarily used for the humanities - English, philosophy, music, religion - but can also be used in other subjects.

Helpful MLA related sites to assist you with proper citations:

Chicago/Turabian Style - History

Chicago/Turabian Style is primarily used for history, but can also be used in other subjects. The Chicago style and the Turabian style are quite similar and often used interchangeably, but they are not identical. Ask your professor or check your syllabus to be sure you're using the right style.

Helpful Chicago related sites to assist you with proper citations:

CSE Style - Sciences

CSE (Council of Science Editors) Style is primarily used for the sciences - biology, chemistry, physics, computer science - but can also be used in other subjects.

Helpful CSE related sites to assist you with proper citations:

Research appointments available!

Don't overlook one of your best resources - your Gallucci-Cirio Librarians! Need help getting started, developing your search strategy, focusing your topic and selecting "keywords", deciding what type of resources you need as well as how to use them? The librarians are here to assist you whether you have a home work assignment or an indepth research project to complete.