Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library 101

Helpful Terms

Citation: Information about a source that gives you all of the information on how to find it

Citation Style: A set of instructions for formatting citations, bibliographies, and other elements of your paper; common examples include MLA, Chicago, and APA

Plagiarism: Passing off someone else's words or ideas as your own

Common Knowledge: Widely accepted information that is available in many sources and does not require a citation

Quoting: Directly reproducing someone else's words and surrounding them with quotation marks

Paraphrasing: Rewriting a passage in your own words (citations are still needed)

Reference List: List of sources at the end of the paper

Summarizing: Condensing someone else's major points using your own words (citations are still needed)

Works Cited Page: Another name for the list of sources at the end of the paper

Where to Find the Parts of a Citation

Why Cite Your Sources?


Why Cite?

Give Credit

Giving credit to the original source's author(s) acknowledges their ideas.

Establish Credibility

Citing shows that you've done your research.

Help Your Readers

Citations guide readers to other sources on the same topic.

Participate in the Conversation

Show how your work fits into your field of study.

Avoid Plagiarism

Taking someone else's words or ideas as your own can lead to serious consequences.

Thank you to Middlebury Libraries for some of these ideas.

Citing Your Sources

Avoiding Plagiarism

Take Your Quiz!