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Eating Animals: Student Guide to Library Resources: Citing Sources
Online library guide for students in Prof. M. Fadem's courses
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.
Online bibliographic management program that allows users to create a personal database of references and generate bibliographies in a variety of formats. First time users need to sign up for an account.