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POLS 202 Introduction to American Government & Politics: Cite Your Sources

This guide will help students research the landscape of current political legislation.

Automatic Citation Generator

NoodleTools Citation Generator

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Access online tutorials using the links below:

Why Cite Sources?

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Avoid Plagiarizing: You must cite any direct quotation, summary, or paraphrase of any idea or fact from your research. Citing sources is giving credit to the original author and publication where you found the information. Not citing sources is plagiarism and you may be subject to academic discipline.

Lend Authority to Your Paper: By referencing the work of scholars and other professionals, you demonstrate that your own research is based on solid, reliable information and that you are capable of critical thinking by being able to synthesize that research into your own.

Provide a Path: By citing sources, you provide the information readers of your paper need in order to locate the same sources that you did.

Acknowledge Other's Work: Part of your research is built upon the research of other people. It is respectful and fair to give them credit for their hard work (just as you would hope someone would give you credit if they were quoting your own work!)

Citations: The How and Why of Citing Sources

Source: "Citations: The How and Why of Citing Sources" by Holman Library is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Learn how to confidently create citations for papers, presentations, and videos.

To find video segments in the "Contents" area: Click the carrot or the arrow at the bottom of the video player

To find video segments, in the Contents area, click the carrot or the arrow at the bottom of the video player


Building Your Authority with Citations

Use quotes, ideas, facts & figures from experts and leaders in the field to lend weight and credibility to your discussion and analysis. 

Compare the following two statements: 

Obama's health care package promises to make insurance more affordable for most Americans. 

According to figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank, health care costs will go down for most, though not all Americans under Obama's health care plan. The foundation estimates that "a family of four making US$44 000 a year will pay US $200 a month and a family making US $66 000 a month will pay US $550 a month, if provisions of the House bill become law. That's down from more than US$1000 a month now. Higher income people will get less help and might see little difference. The wealthiest Americans will pay higher taxes." (Woodward, Cal. "Obama Taps New Allies and Tackles Age-Old Divisions in Nudging Health Care Reform." CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal. 182. (2010): E111-E113. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.) 

Which statement do you think is stronger?

Citations Matter

Citations matter! Check out this recent news story about a political blogger who was forced to resign for not crediting his sources:

Media Blogger Romanesko Resigns after Questions about Attribution. The blog post offers an interesting discussion of how bloggers build on and refer to each other's blog posts.

Research 103: NoodleTools Citation Workshop

Research 103: NoodleTools Citation Workshop

Scholarship is a Conversation!
This hands-on workshop will help you understand why and how to give credit in your academic work and beyond.

Workshop focus:
  • Understanding why and when to cite other works
  • Integrating and citing sources material
  • Using NoodleTools citation maker
Please create your NoodleTools account before attending the workshop. Instructions for creating a NoodleTools account can be found under the NoodleTools Workshop registration link.

  • Week 4 Monday July 19, 12:30pm - 1:00pm (MLA)
  • Week 5 Tuesday July 27, 12:30pm - 1:00pm (APA)
  • Week 6 Monday August 2, 12:30pm - 1:00pm (MLA)
  • Week 7 Tuesday August 10, 12:30pm - 1:00pm (APA)

NoodleTools Citation Workshop is a virtual synchronous workshop with an asynchronous component that is emailed out to registrants prior to the workshop.
  • Open the registration link below to select the workshop date you would like.
  • We will send you a link to join us in Zoom
  • You need to register to receive the link.
Set up your NoodleTools account
Can't attend a citation workshop at the scheduled times?  

You can take an online version of the workshop through our online NoodleTools Citation Tutorial in Canvas or the NoodleTools How-To Guide!

Citation LibGuide

Still have citation questions? Check the more extensive guide dedicated to citations:


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A citation reflects all of the information a person would need to locate a particular source. For example, basic citation information for a book consists of name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), title of the book, name of publisher, place of publication, and most recent copyright date.
A citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting.

A bibliography is an organized list of citations.

In an annotated bibliography, each citation is followed by a brief note—or annotation—that describes and/or evaluates the source and the information found in it.

A works cited (MLA style) or references (APA style) list presents citations for those sources referenced or cited in a particular paper, presentation, or other composition.
An in-text citation consists of just enough information to correspond to a source's full citation in a Works Cited or References list. In-text citations often require a page number (or numbers) showing exactly where relevant information was found in the original source.
An abstract is a summary of an article or other work and cannot be used as if it were the full text. You should not reference or cite an abstract in a paper or presentation, but instead find the full text.