How can you communicate where an idea comes from? Citing is the key way that we can avoid plagiarism. Citing is giving credit to the author of the words, ideas, concepts or data in a specific format determined by your discipline. All the citations provide an easy way to find the author's specific ideas. Check out the definitions and links below to learn more about how to cite. 


  • Citations are a special way of documenting where we found important ideas included or discussed in our own work. 
  • In-text citations are notes that identify the source of an idea or content that we reference in a sentence, paragraph, an image, a chart or other visual presentations. In-text citations are located in the text of your paper, right next to the information that needs to be cited.
  • Full citations are a list of all sources that you referenced in your paper. They are written in a large list at the end of your paper. You may have heard this list called a "bibliography" or "reference list."

Major Citation Styles

Do you know what style your program requires? There are three main citation styles.  Which one you use depends on your discipline and your professor’s preference. To find how to cite using these and other styles, visit the Citing Source Guide

Cheat Sheet