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Citation Styles

Guide for citation styles

When to Cite

The main purpose of citation is to give credit to the authors of the source material you used in the creation of your project. It also allows readers the opportunity to find said material. Basically, you should cite anything that isn't common knowledge or your own ideas. Whether you directly quote the source, paraphrase it, or simply borrow an idea, you should credit the source.

Not crediting the work of others is plagiarism, which is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary Online as the "action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft". The following offer some ideas one how to better understand and avoid plagiarism, as well as a the University of Minnesota's policies regarding it.

Student Code of Conduct - Official policy from the University of Minnesota

Citing Sources and Plagiarism - Created by the UMC Writing Center, this helps determine when there is a need for documentation.

Avoiding Plagiarism: Overview - The Purdue OWL defines plagiarism and presents strategies for avoiding it.

How to Cite

Your instructor will determine which style or format you should use for the project on which you are working. Some formats that you may be asked to use include the following: 

  • APA 
  • Chicago
  • CSE/CBE
  • Journal of Wildlife Management
  • MLA

Make sure to ask your instructor about which style you should use if you are unsure.

Documentation of citations consists of two parts: within the text and at the end of your paper. Each style has its own guide for both.

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