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Sociology & Anthropology

Citation Guides

Why Citing is Important

Citation is an important part of the research process because ...

  1. It allows others to identify and locate the materials used in your work. Many readers rely on citations and footnotes to identify other relevant literature on a topic.
  2. It demonstrates the depth of your research showing that you have read and engaged the relevant literature on your topic. This indicates that you have an informed understanding of your subject and enhances the credibility of your findings.
  3. It allows you to give proper credit for the ideas of others and avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism refers to the process of copying the work of others and submitting it as one's own. Plagiarism is a violation of the College of Staten Island's Academic Integrity policy. For further information on plagiarism and tips on how to avoid it, check out Baruch College's Plagiarism Tutorial.

What Needs to be Cited

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you must cite the source using either a parenthetical citation, footnote, or endnote. In addition, a bibliography or list of works cited, is almost always placed at the end of your paper.

Parenthetical citations (also referred to as "in-text citations") are abbreviated citations that direct readers to the full bibliographic citations listed in your works cited. In most cases, parenthetical citations include the author's last name and the page number for the information cited.

Footnotes and endnotes contain full bibliographic citations for the first time a source is cited and abbreviated citations (author's last name and page number) for each successive citation. The primary difference between footnotes and endnotes is that footnotes are placed numerically at the foot of the same page where the references are made, while endnotes are placed numerically at the end of the essay on a separate page entitled Endnotes or Notes.

The precise format of your citations depends on which citation style you use.

Which Citation Style to Use

Different academic disciplines use different citation styles. The three most popular citation styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago. It is always best to ask your professor which citation style they prefer, but as a general rule these styles are used as follows:

MLA     Art, Literature, and the Humanities
APA     Psychology and the Social Sciences
Chicago     History, Humanities, and the Sciences

MLA Style Guide: Quick Reference
Description: Quick reference guide to the MLA style offering examples of common citations.
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Location: 1st Fl Reference LB2369.G53 2009
Description: The authoritative source for MLA citation style and writing guidelines; most commonly used in English and the Humanities.

APA Style Guide: Quick Reference
Description: Quick reference guide to the APA style offering examples of common citations. 
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Location: 1st Fl Reference BF76.7.P83 2010
Description: The authoritative source for APA citation style and writing guidelines for the Social and Behaviorial Sciences.

Chicago Style Guide: Quick Reference
Description: Quick reference guide to the Chicago style offering examples of common citations. 
Chicago Manual of Style Online
Description: Electronic edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Chicago Manual of Style
Location: 1st Fl Reference Z253.U69 2010 
Description: The authoritative source for Chicago citation style and writing guidelines used in History and the Humanities.