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How to Cite | The Basics

Resources for citation help, including handbooks and quick guides, for MLA, APA, Chicago, AMA, and other styles.

Your Librarian

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Amanda Walch
Raugust Library, Reference & Instruction Office
701-252-3467 ext. 5441

In This Guide

quotation mark in a speech bubbleIn this guide, you'll find:

magnifying class iconTIP: Just ask

Always check with your professors about their preferred citation style. They may have very specific requirements, or may leave it up to you - just ask!

Did you know?

Raugust Library hosts citation help events at least once per semester! Check the Library Calendar to see when the next one is happening!

The Basics

What are Citations?

Citations, or references, are special forms of notation that refer to published or unpublished sources. 


Why use Citations?

Whenever you refer to or quote from someone else's ideas or words in your own work, you need to indicate where you got this information. You make this indication by including citations in your papers, presentations, websites, etc. Citations are necessary for the following reasons:

  • They demonstrate that you've done proper research.
  • They give credit by acknowledging the ideas of other researchers, authors, and creators. 
  • They allow readers to track and refer to your sources.
  • They avoid plagiarism by properly crediting and quoting others' works.


What is Plagiarism? 

According to the University of Jamestown's Academic Integrity Policy:

"Plagiarism involves both theft and cheating. When someone appropriates, for use in formal course work, the wording, phrasing, or ideas of another, and either accidentally or intentionally fails to acknowledge the debt, it is considered theft. Plagiarism is also cheating in that one is creating a false impression about one's own intelligence, ability, and achievement. If students are unsure about what constitutes plagiarism, they should seek help from their instructors and refer to appropriate handbooks."

If you need help with citations or understanding plagiarism please contact the Reference & Instruction Librarian

Print Handbooks and Quick Guides

Want it in print?

Print versions of style handbooks can be found in the Reference section of Raugust Library. These can't be checked out, but are good resources if you're in the building!

Print versions of the Quick Guides for MLA, APA, and Chicago are available next to the Reference and Instruction Office door. Feel free to take one!


Image credits for this Guide: Quote icon icon by Icons8