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 Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.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 Student Code of Conduct.
How do you cite sources?
The means to identify sources is to provide citations within your text linking appropriate passages to relevant resources 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 or your teacher asks you to use. At Columbus State Community College the two standard citation systems used are either the Modern Language Association (MLA) format or the American Psychological Association (APA) format. Links to print and web sources can be found on this page.
Check out the MLA or APA citation guides, linked below, for more information about how to cite government or legal sources.
See the Legal/Govt. Docs. page in each guide.
The links below give examples of how to cite government documents two different citation styles, either the APA style (6th ed.) or MLA style (8th ed.).
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