Librarian Rule # 4: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
- Identify where your information came from - not just quotes, but concepts and data, too!
- Figure out the rules required for your project - MLA, APA, or something else - and follow them.
- Never worry about memorizing these rules!
Documenting Your Resources Using Style Guides
When you research a topic, you are likely to find and use many different sources, and different types of sources. Any quote you use, or concept you refer to from a source, should be referenced in the body of your report. The resources you actually use in your research paper are the ones that you should list at the end of your report. This list of resources is sometimes referred to as a bibliography, sometimes as a works cited list. The intent of this list is not just to show your instructor (or publisher) where you obtained your information, but also allows anyone reading your report to duplicate your research and find the sources you reference in your report. So, what information is necessary to include? And how do you format your quotes and your mentions of other works?
Style guides are sets of "rules" that explain what specific information to include, how to list sources, any special punctuation standards, and so on. Different fields of study typically use different style guide. For instance, English and literature classes typically use the MLA (Modern Language Association) style guide, and social science classes typically use the APA (American Psychological Association) style guide. You can find links to information on these and other style guides on the Citation & Style Guides page of the Library's Research Guides by Subject.