When to Cite a Source

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize another author's findings or ideas, you need to attribute that information to the author it came from. This includes both print and non-print materials. 

Attributing information to another author is done by what is called citing or referencing that author.  Depending on the style your professor asks you to use, this may be accomplished by using either in-text citations or footnotes. You will also be expected to include a list of full citations that describe each work and enable your reader to locate the item. This list may be referred to as a bibliography, list of works cited, or list of references depending on the style. For examples of different citation styles, see the resources listed on the individual tabs of this guide.

If the information is a well-known and generally accepted fact, it is not necessary to cite a source.

For more helpful information, see Penfield's Citing Sources page.

Citation Building Tools

Use these tools to format your reference list citations in APA, or MLA styles. Check the accuracy of these citations (e.g. capitalization, indentation, etc.) using a citation guide.

Use Zotero Bib as a citation generation to quickly create one-time citations. You can also use Zotero as a citation manager to store, organize, and share citations. To use Zotero as a citation manager, you'll need to download and install it on your device. Penfield Library's Zotero Guide provides step-by-step directions.