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Overview of general dietetics, nutrition & wellness, or nutritional sciences resources available to UNH faculty, staff and students.

Why do I need to cite my sources?

Citing your sources is:

  • the smart thing to do: readers will consider your work more credible if they know where your information comes from.
  • the honest thing to do: it prevents plagiarism by giving credit to the original author of an idea.

Imagine research as a conversation -- scholars are trading ideas back and forth and building on the findings of earlier work. Citing your sources is an important part of contributing to this conversation -- it allows readers to understand how your work fits into the overall conversation.

Citing your sources in a standard style also helps readers tell at a glance what type of source you used (book vs. journal article, etc), and it helps readers find and reference the sources you used.

When should I cite a source?

To avoid plagiarism, cite sources when:

  • You directly quote a source
  • You paraphrase a source
  • You summarize someone else's ideas in your own words
  • You draw on facts, information, or data from someone else
  • You want to add supplemental information not included in your paper, such as footnotes or endnotes

Note: You do not need to cite generally accepted knowledge. For more information, see Not-So-Common Knowledge.

A general rule of thumb is: "When in doubt, cite it."

The text above is a direct quote from the Northern Arizona University e-Learning Center's Academic Integrity @ NAU tutorial. The e-Learning Center was paraphrasing Princeton University's guidelines.

At UNH, plagiarism is seen as a violation of academic honesty and can result in severe consequences. To learn more:

How do I cite a source?

To cite a source properly, you need to follow the rules of a particular citation style.

There are many styles, and reformatting citations can take a long time -- so ask your professor about what citation style to use before you start writing your paper.

Common Citation Styles:

Online Style Guides:

Quick tools for auto-formatting your citations:

Want to use a program that not only creates your bibliography automatically, but can also store and organize citations and PDFs?

  • Check out RefWorks -- UNH provides all students, faculty, and staff with free accounts.

Just need to format a few citations right now? Try these quick tools:

Whichever program you choose, remember to proofread the citations it generates for you!

Understand the generic format of a citation:

If you understand the general anatomy of a citation, it's easier to create your own citations -- plus, you can tell at a glance what kind of source was cited. Here's the anatomy of two sources formatted in the CSE (Council of Science Editors) style:

An article citation:

Dissected article citation

A book citation:

Dissected book citation.