How to Cite Sources
• An academic paper can be defined as a paper that uses outside resources of any kind, rather than your own creativity and imagination. Writing a poem, short story, memoir, or novel does not require any citation, although authors of historical fiction usually provide a bibliography or some other type of recognition for the basis of their plot and/or characters.
• In a paper you write for class, there are three main things that require a citation: direct quotes from articles, books, or websites; photos, graphs, or other images; and ideas that you might have reworded or paraphrased, but are no longer direct quotes.
• A direct quote should be cited immediately following the last quote mark: “Mobility and independent action have long characterized nomadic pastoralists” (Bates and Rassam, p. 124).
• Depending on what citation style your professor asks you to use (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.); your citation will look different. If you use footnotes or end notes, the number of the note should immediately follow the quote mark, where the parentheses (…) are above.
• “Mobility and independent action have long characterized nomadic pastoralists.”8 The appropriate bibliographic reference would then be listed under 8 in the end notes, or at the bottom of the page for foot notes.
• Microsoft Word will create footnotes by pressing CTRL+ALT+F or it will create and endnote by pressing CTRL+ALT+D. You can also find footnotes under the Insert menu, under Reference. Word will number your notes automatically as you go along, changing the numbers if you add or delete!
• Be sure you have all the correct bibliographic information such as author name, place of publishing, and copyright date. If you cite a website, be sure you have the date you accessed the site, when the site was last updated, and an author of the page if you can find it (title of the page will substitute here if there is no specific author or webmaster listed).
Photographs & Other Images
• Photographers, cartographers (mapmakers), and tacticians (they make a lot of graphs) are just like authors, whose work is considered intellectual property. If you are borrowing it for your paper, any images, graphics, models, and photographs must be cited.
• When you “paraphrase,” you are rewording another author’s ideas instead of using a direct quote. Paraphrasing is often used to summarize or consolidate an idea, or perhaps to highlight an author’s broader point in a large work. Citing a paraphrased idea is just as important as citing a direct quote, because often a professor looking for plagiarism can tell when an idea is not typical of that student.
• When do you need to cite paraphrased ideas? If the idea you are discussing is not “common knowledge,” something that every author would say the same thing about, then the idea you just put in your paper needs to be credited to the original author. Or, if you simply rearrange the author’s words or use a majority of the original vocabulary, then that is paraphrasing and needs to be cited. The mechanics are the same as a direct quote: the citation (parenthetical documentation or footnotes and endnotes) needs to come immediately after the end of the idea.
DOs and DON'Ts of What to Use
Your professor is always telling you to use “legitimate” or “credible” sources, right? So, what qualifies in those categories? A good way to judge the difference between quality and not-so-quality sources: racy headlines and lots of pictures aren’t likely to have the most reliable information, but a journal that publishes academic articles is probably a good place to begin.
Unless you’re trying to write a paper about popular culture and need examples from People or Seventeen, most people avoid the weekly or monthly popular magazines. Below are some examples of things to avoid:
• Periodicals like National Enquirer, People, The Onion
• Websites expressing extreme political views or articles in propaganda materials trying to recruit people to specific ideologies.
• Popular television or radio shows, novels, and personal websites.
Some alternatives, that are monitored by the academic community and whose information is typically reviewed by other scholars:
• Journals and other publications with articles by scholars that have been peer-reviewed by other experts on the subject.
• Magazines published by national professional organizations (like the National Association of Music Educators, etc.)
• Sites hosted by the United Nations, a state, federal, or foreign government, national or international scientific associations, or other organizations that are nationally or internationally recognized (like the American Red Cross or the Nature Conservancy)
Academic Integrity Online Resources
The following websites offer a multitude of resources to check your citations, verify a website’s credibility, or gain more information regarding the Academic Integrity Initiative. Feel free to utilize these sites as you assemble your bibliography and works cited page. When using these sites, be sure to confirm which style of citation is required by your professor for your specific class and assignment.
Automated Citation Creators
MLA & APA Reference Sites
Credibility of Internet Sources Helpers
UI Plagiarism Policy
http://www.class.uidaho.edu/english/comp/plagiarism.htm UI English Department's Policy on Plagiarism
University of Idaho Expectations
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