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Citation Support Guide: Home


Welcome to the FDU Libraries' Citation Support Guide! This page contains information on what citations are, different citation styles, links to helpful books and resources, and more! Please use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate this guide.

  The Libraries offer workshops on citations throughout the semester. Please view our events calendar for more information.

Quick Access

Note: While citation machines and managers are helpful tools, it is always best to check your citations using the official style manual to ensure a citation has been formatted correctly.

Helpful Books

Note: Students have many questions about citing sources, and FDU librarians are happy to provide guidance. We can assist by helping you to determine the type of source to be cited, providing a guide to the citation style, and indicating the most relevant section/example. Because citations are often graded, we cannot create or format the citation for you, nor can we correct a list of citations. Please contact the Academic Support Center or the Metro Writing Studio for help creating and formatting citations.

Citations 101

Citations provide credit to the author, editor, and/or publisher who created a source. It is vital to properly cite your sources to avoid plagiarism, which means intentionally or inadvertently taking credit for someone else's work. Citing sources also allows readers to consult your resources and retrieve the same information.

Please watch the following video from NC State University Libraries on Citations: 

Video: Citations: A (Very) Brief Introduction by NC State University Libraries via YouTube

When to Cite

Citations are very important to use to provide credit when words and ideas are used from an outside source, such as a scholarly article, newspaper, textbook, social media post, books, and more. Always use a citation when summarizing, quoting, and paraphrasing someone else's ideas:

  • Direct Quote: A direct quote is when you use the exact words from an outside source in your paper. Even if you only use two words from a source, you should use quotation marks.
  • Paraphrase: To paraphrase means to rewrite ideas from an outside source in your own words. Paraphrasing is the most common and impactful way to utilize outside sources in your assignments.
  • Summarize: Summarizing is used when you want the reader to understand the overarching, larger ideas that are represented in an outside source.

When in doubt, it is best to use a citation rather than risk plagiarizing someone else's ideas.

Citation Styles

When talking about citations, you may see that different professors require different styles or formats to be used. The main styles you will see in college are MLA style, APA style, and Chicago style. Each of these styles has a different set of requirements, not only for citations, but also how your entire paper looks.

Benefits to using a standard format or style:

  • Easier to navigate and comprehend sources and research
  • Better understanding of where to look for citation information
  • Increased professionalism and credibility with readers with clean formatting

Before selecting a citation style for your paper, check with your professor or review your assignment to see what is required.

Getting Started

To get started with creating citations, a bibliography, or works cited page:

  • Determine the citation style your assignment requires, such as APA or MLA
  • Identify what type of document you are citing, such as a book, a chapter in a book, a journal article, a film, etc.
  • Use the resources in this guide to find an example to follow to format your citation in APA, MLA, or other styles