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Using & Citing Sources

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.

Purpose

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.

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