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Using & Citing Sources: Introduction

Footnotes, references, bibliographies, avoiding plagiarism & more.

A Working Definition

A citation is essentially a reference to a source of information -- i.e., a book, an article, a webpage, or any other resource, physical or virtual.  As such, it is a kind of avatar -- a summary, descriptive stand-in for the object itself.


The purpose of a citation or reference is two-fold.  In the first instance, it is an attribution or recognition of the contributions of another researcher, commentator, or author to the work at hand.  In the second instance, it is a pathway or, perhaps, a signpost leading others to that contributory source.

Learn More About Avoiding Plagiarism

Why Citations are Serious Business

The clip below comes to us from the creative team of John Watts, Joshua Vossler, and Tim Hodge at Coastal Carolina's Kimbrel Library.