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Library: Cite Sources

Citing Your Sources

Below you will find information about citing sources in your work. In accordance with Austin College's Academic Integrity Policy, all sources (whether print or electronic) must be cited correctly within the text of your work and in a list of works cited. Citation formats (or "styles") vary depending on the discipline. Check with your professor or reference your course syllabus if you are unsure of which style to follow.

Keep in mind, there are a variety of style manuals available for you in the library. Many are available at the Reference/Research Help Desk for in library use only, while others may be found in the Reference or Circulating Books collection. 

Why Cite Your Sources?

There are many reasons to cite the sources you use for any research assignment, whether it is a paper or presentation. Following is a list of these reasons and explanations for why citing properly is so important.

Acknowledging Others' Work

When you acknowledge an author's work, you are giving them credit for their own original ideas, research, and effort. You should always give credit to an author for their work


Maintaining Credibility

Citations show that you have researched your topic and you know what you are talking about. It also shows that you consulted credible sources during the research process.


Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism includes not citing your sources, or not citing your sources properly. Learning how and when to properly cite your sources will help you avoid plagiarism.


Finding Your Sources is Easier

The readers of your paper or audience of your speech can more easily find the sources you used. This is handy in the case that they need to verify the information you used, or if they just simply wish to learn more about the topic.

How and When to Cite

Citation styles provide you the rules for formatting your citations, the paper itself, and your works cited/reference page.

APA and MLA are the two most common citation styles, but there are many others, such as Chicago, Turabian, and ACS. Citation styles vary for each discipline. Check with your professor, or reference your course syllabus or assignment, to verify which style you should use.


Sources are typically worked into your paper or speech in the following ways:

  1. Quoting -- this is when you copy a short passage from a source word for word, utilizing quotation marks around the copied text.
  2. Paraphrasing -- this is when you use an idea from a source but put it into your own words. A paraphrased statement can be about as long as the original text.
  3. Summarizing -- this is when you restate the main ideas of a source in your own words. A summary is usually shorter than the original text. 


When writing a research paper, you need to cite:

  • within the paper, using in-text citations, to reference the author's work or idea
  • in the bibliography (or "reference list" / "works cited" page), which will contain the full citation for each source you used

When giving a speech or presentation, you need to cite:

  • in the bibliography, just as you would when writing a paper
  • in the speech outline, using in-text citations
  • during the speech, utilizing verbal cues such as "according to...," etc.

Library Information


Abell Library Center

900 N. Grand Avenue, Suite 6L

Sherman, TX 75090-4400

Phone: 903-813-2236

Summer 2018 Hours
Days Times
Monday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday CLOSED

The Purdue OWL - Online Writing Lab

The Purdue OWL is a fantastic resource for help with citing your sources if you are using APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), Chicago, or AMA (American Medical Association) styles. Detailed citation information for various types of works in a number of different formats is provided. The APA, MLA, and Chicago formatting and style guides are linked to below.

Managing Your Citations

These are some tools you may use to help you organize and cite your references:

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