Writing and Citing

When you write a paper using material from a source such as a book, journal article or website, you must acknowledge that source by citing it.

You cite a source by including some of the basic information about that source in the text of your paper and/or in a bibliography at the end of your paper. What information you include and how you include it depends on which citation style you choose.


Plagiarism is the use of someone else's words, ideas, or creative works without a proper citation. This misrepresentation of another's work as your own is an act of academic dishonesty, and as such is subject to academic discipline.

More information about Plagiarism


Citation styles are guidelines to citation. Different citation styles have different rules about how to cite a source, what information you include in your citation, and where the citation occurs in your paper. MLA is often used in the humanities, and APA is often used in social sciences, but you can check with your professor to see which style is preferred for your paper.

The three most common citation styles for academic papers are:



Zotero is a citation management tool which will help you organize the information you need to cite your sources.

Zotero will take the citation information for a book, journal article, or website, and store it in a folder in your Zotero account.

Zotero also integrates with Word, so that you can use Zotero while writing your paper to format your citations and bibliography, in the citation style of your choice.

To learn more about Zotero, you can send us a question at @email, or contact the Liaison Librarian for your subject area.