What is a Citation?
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 find the original source (book, article, video, etc) you used in your research. Typically, citations include information such as author, title, date, location. Whenever you get information from a source, quote it, or base your ideas on another person's work, you must cite the source in an accepted citation style.
- To give credit to the author or creator whose ideas/concepts you are using
- To show where you found your information, and prove you used credible sources
- To add credibility and support to your own argument
- To respect creators’ moral rights within the Canadian Copyright Act.
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!
- 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.
- Use Refworks for managing citations from library databases and other sources.
- When you print articles from the web, be sure to include a full URL in the footer.
- 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.