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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are citations?
A: Citations are a way of giving credit to the author of a work (article, book, web page, recording, video, etc.). Any information or quotes that you take from another’s work must be cited.

Q: I’m new to this – where do I start to get an overview of what citation is?
A: Start with the Cite Right Video Tutorial for an overview of why and how we use citations and an introduction to APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

Q: What is the difference between using quotation marks and citation? Can I just use quotation marks to show that I referenced something?
A: Quotation marks indicate a direct quote of the exact words from a work. A citation gives the author credit for the quote or for any information found in a work that you have rephrased into your own words.

Q: There are a lot of different types of materials that are confusing to cite. Is there a simple guide I can follow?
A: See the citation examples for APA, MLA, Chicago, and IEEE. These examples will help you understand how to cite in your paper and how to format your references.

Q: Do I need to cite in discussion posts?
A: It is helpful to get into the practice of citing sources whenever you use them, even in discussion posts.  When in doubt, confer with your instructor.

Q: How do I cite course resources or discussion posts that are in my classroom?
A: See these examples, in APA, MLA,  or Chicago styles.

Q:  How do I format my paper in APA, MLA, or Chicago styles? Are there examples that I can follow?
A: These pages have instructional videos and links to sample papers: APA, MLA, Chicago

Q: I don't see an individual person's name listed as the author of a web page. How should I cite that page in APA?
A: If no individual person's name is listed as the author of a web page, then the author is the organization that publishes the website. Note this is only for web pages, and not other kinds of publications. Here is an example:

American Council on Education. (n.d.). Race and ethnicity in higher education. https://www.equityinhighered.org/

Q: If an article does not have a digital object identifier (DOI), how do I cite it in APA?
A:  End the reference with the article’s page numbers. For example:

Mulvaney, M. (2020). Discussion groups and multi-formatted content delivery in an online module: Effect on students’ self-efficacy. College Student Journal, 54(1), 88-105.