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ENG24 Student Guide to Library Resources

This online library guide supports students in ENG24 courses to do library research. Questions? Contact WChu/JNoe

Citation Basics

Citing your sources is a very important part of the research process. Why?

  • Citations help you avoid plagiarism. As you may know, Kingsborough stands strongly against plagiarism, or using the work of others as your own. (See the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity here.) Citing direct or indirect quotations can prevent you from inadvertantly claiming another writer's work as your own. 
  • Citations help you make your case. In addition to avoiding plagiarism, citing sources will make your work much stronger. Each citation stands as a piece of evidence: a citation adds to your paper by saying to the reader: "What he/she is arguing is backed up by the scholars in the field."
  • Citations show the person who is reading how to get further information. Citations can be a great way of pointing your reader to more interesting sources on your topic. 
  • Citations strike up a conversation with your source. In scholarly writing, citations are considered a form of communication between one author and another. By citing an author's work, you not only support your own argument, but you are also announcing that the sources you cited are good works of research or scholarship. It's a conversation, even though they may not know about it. 


Citation formats: There are several different citation styles, and each style has its own particular rules about how exactly a source should be cited. Your professor will often require a particular format (such as MLA or APA), or may tell you to choose one yourself. Below are some common citation styles. 

  • MLA Format (from the Modern Language Association) is the most common citation style used in undergraduate papers. You can find more information about MLA style in their handbook (available through the KCC library or Amazon), the Purdue OWL, or on MLA's website.  
  • APA Formatting (from the American Psychiatric Association) is quite common in social sciences publications, and occasionally in undergraduate assignments as well. You can find more information about APA style in their manual (available through the KCC library or Amazon), the Purdue OWL, or on APA's website
  • Chicago Style (from the University of Chicago Press) is another common citation style in scholarly publications. You can find more information about Chicago style in their manual (available through the KCC library or Amazon), the Purdue OWL, or on the Chicago Manual of Style website

Books on Citation

There are a number of books available at the library to assist with citation as well as proper format, style, and content.

Citation Links

A number of websites are devoted to helping students and other researchers cite their work.