Photograph: Student reading, South/Southeast Asia Library Menu: Help

Citing Your Sources

Quick links

"Ethics, copyright laws, and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked."
Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, p. 594

Why cite sources?
Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.

By following these guidelines, you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

How do you cite sources?
Citations within your text link specific passages to the sources you consulted or quoted. This can be done through in-text parenthetic notes, footnotes, or endnotes. In addition, a bibliography or list of works cited is almost always placed at the end of your paper. The citation system and format you use will be determined by the citation style you choose.

These guides (used with permission from Purdue University) describe and give examples for the three major styles used in the humanities, social sciences, and some scientific disciplines:

  • APA Style Guide
    From the American Psychological Association. Often preferred in the fields of psychology and many other social sciences.
  • MLA Style Guide
    From the Modern Language Association of America. Often preferred in the fields of literature, arts, humanities, and in some other disciplines.
  • Chicago Style Guide
    From the University of Chicago Press. Often preferred in history and many other disciplines. ("Turabian" style derives from this and is similar to it in many ways).

How do you choose a style?
Ask your instructor which style sheet he or she wishes you to use and if there are other special formatting instructions you should follow.

How do you find the complete style manuals?
If you have questions or citations not covered by the guides linked above, please consult one of the following official style manuals. Click on the titles for library locations and call numbers.

APA Style
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.
 
American Psychological Association's style guide FAQ
 
MLA Style
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009 A somewhat simplified guide, adequate for undergraduate and most other research papers.
 
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. For graduate students, scholars, and professional writers (more depth on copyright, legal issues, and writing theses, dissertations, and scholarly publishing).
 
Chicago Style
The Chicago Manual of Style Online. 16th ed., 2010 (UCB access only)
The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003

Turabian Style
Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. According to the Code:

"Plagiarism includes use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action. For more information, consult the following UC Berkeley websites:


FAQSearchSitemapContact webmasterUC Berkeley homePreview the new Library website
Copyright © 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 02/28/13. Server manager: contact
Frequently asked questions (link) Contact us (link) Disability resources (link) Guides (link) Tutorials (link) Connecting from off campus (link) Research help (link) Library workshops and tours (link) Find Information (link) About the Libraries (link) Services (link) Library Catalogs (link) Home (link)