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Library: Citing your sources

Welcome to the Urban Herbst Library! This page has research resources to help you find great sources.

Noodletools

Why Cite?

  • Give credit to the author or creator of the source information
  • Avoid plagiarism by telling your reader whose idea is being presented
  • Stay organized

What do I cite?

  • Cite any ideas that are not your own.
  • Cite quotes from other people.
  • Cite ideas that you have paraphrased or summarized.
  • Do not cite "common knowledge" which includes dates and basic facts. When in doubt, cite it or ask Sarah the librarian or your teacher for clarification.
  • Do not cite your own ideas.

Other Tools

  • Zotero is a plugin for your browser that helps you collect, organize, cite, and share resources. Free download!
  • EasyBib is free for MLA citations.
  • OttoBib makes book citations from book ISBNs.
  • BibMe makes book citations from title information, author name, or ISBN.

Citation guides and examples

Citation Guide and Examples‚Äč

  • Guide to assembling a list of works cited in your paper from Duke University Libraries.
  • Examples created by History Department Chair Rebecca Shapiro.

Turabian Examples

MLA Examples

APA Examples

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else's ideas as your own. To avoid plagiarism, simply cite ideas and quotes you gather from your research.

Oops, I plagiarized from UCLA

Copyright

Copyright is the protection of a creative work. If you create something (a poem, a story, a painting, a song), it is protected immediately, without need for registration. Find out more here.

Why Does Copyright Matter?
Copyright is very important when you are using someone else's creative work in a public forum (like a public website, newspaper or film). Generally, you must receive permission in order to use another person's creative works.

But...if you are using a creative work in a school project that is not available to the general public, you will not need to seek permission. In these instances, all you need to do is cite the work, i.e. give credit where credit is due.

Exceptions
There are some exceptions to the copyright rules outlined above.  Most notably, there is a license called Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows the creator to set a level of permissions and use that they are comfortable with. Some sites, like Google and Flickr, let you search based on creative commons licenses.

Fair use is a common exemption from copyright. Basically, fair use allows creative works to be used for educational purposes, research needs, commentary, reporting or parody. One cannot use a work in its entirety, as that would harm its commercial value.

Items that are out of copyright are exempt. Things created a long time ago may not be protected by copyright anymore. If you are uncertain about the copyright status, ask the librarian!

Trademarks
Trademarks are different than copyright. A trademark is a name, word, phrase, design, image or logo that represents an individual, business or organization. A trademark must be registered.