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Citations: Citations Overview

Basic tips on the three main citation styles and links to more information.

MLA Style Guide

APA Style Guide

Chicago Style Guide

Citing Sources in Academic Research

Why Do I Have to Cite?

1. To Build Upon the Research of Others
Citing your sources demonstrates that your arguments and conclusions are not based solely upon your own opinion or biases, but are supported by the findings of other researchers.

2. To Give Credit When Its Due
Citing information allows you to demonstrate exactly what information you took from another researcher and it shows what information is original to your work.

3. To Allow for Further Research
When you cite others' research in your work, you are giving your audience the sources they need to seek out additional information related to your topic.

4. To Avoid Plagiarism!
Plagiarism is a serious offense at Vance-Granville Community College and is subject to disciplinary action. Plagiarism results from not giving credit to the sources of information you use in your research. See the Plagiarism page for more information.

What Do I Have to Cite?

1. Direct Quotes
When you quote directly from a source.
When you rephrase, reword, or summarize information from a source.

2. Arguments and Terminology
When you make use of another person's argument, idea, or specific terminology.

3. Graphs, Charts, Photos, Drawings, etc.
When you use or glean information from another person's graph, chart, photograph, drawing, or other representation of information.

Which Format should I use?

In academic writing, the most commonly used citation formats are APA, MLA, and Chicago. Check with your instructors to see which citation format they prefer. There are examples and more information about APA, MLA, and Chicago listed on the other tabs in this LibGuide.


Thank you to Surry Community College Library for their assistance in creating this guide.

More Citation Help

Try these online sources for more details and help with creating citations.

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