Citing a source means that you show within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another source.
A citation, in college reading, writing, or speaking, is a reference to a source of information. Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site). They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.
In-text citations are short notes that must be included with your text where the idea, data, or evidence from that source is used. In-text citations should match to a complete list of full citations, usually included as the last page of your paper.
Full citations provide all of the elements necessary for the reader to find the exact same source used by the writer. Full citations should be provided, usually in a list at the end of your paper, or on a separate sheet for speeches, for all the sources used or consulted in your research project.
Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:
Always ask your instructor what citation style should be used for research projects.
Watch this short video to learn what citing is, when, where, and how to cite, and why it's important.
The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own. For more information, you can find our plagiarism guide here.
What needs to be credited or documented:
Bottom line: Document any words, ideas, or other productions that originate somewhere outside of you.
Things that do not need documentation or credit, including:
If you are unsure, ask your instructor, a tutor, or librarian.
source: (Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL))