Referencing and Research Skills

Academic scholarship involves properly acknowledging sources. It shows readers where your ideas came from, and gives them the details to find the source themselves. 

A citation is a reference to a source, and depending on the citation style, includes details such as the title, author, location and date of publication, and other information. Common citation styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago. If you are unsure which citation style you should use, or what needs to be cited, check with your instructor.


  • Anytime you use someone else’s work (ideas, words, images, code, etc.), it needs to be cited.
  • Students are often using a number of different sources in their assignments. It is your responsibility to keep track of your sources and to cite them appropriately.
  • If you paraphrase (i.e. put something into your own words), it still needs to be cited.
  • It is an academic offense to re-use work from other assignments without permission from both instructors. If you do have permission, make sure to cite yourself to avoid self-plagiarism.