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Sustainable Design : Citing your Sources

A citation is a reference to the source of an idea or piece of information. Your citation should allow anyone who sees your reference list to be able to track down the original source (book, article, video, etc) that you used in your research. Typically, citations include information such as author, title, date, location. Whenever you use information from another source, quote it, or base your ideas on another person's work, you must cite the source in an accepted citation style. 

TIPS for Collecting Citations

It is extremely easy to lose track of your sources.  Follow these tips to ensure you don't have to scramble when you write up your reference list!

  1. Take notes as you read an article (rather than copying and pasting directly from the web to your assignment). Rewriting an author's words in your own words helps you organize, retain and understand the material you are reading. Clearly identify:
    • Any information about the source that will help you find it again - author, title, year, database where it was found, etc.
    • What information you found where, and what is written in your own words versus what is a direct quote.
  2. Use Refworks for managing citations from library databases and other sources.
  3. When you print articles from the web, be sure to include a full URL in the footer.
  4. Print all html articles and webpages to a virtual .pdf printer for easier referencing later.  Save them to a USB or your Sheridan account.  The URL is automatically included in the .pdf footer.

TIPS for Avoiding Plagiarism

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to understand what it is so that you are not accidentally committing it. Even students with the best of intentions can get stuck in a situation that could possibly lead to plagiarism. Here are some tips to help avoid being caught in a situation that could lead to plagiarism:

Citation Style Guides