A citation is required whenever you quote directly form a source, refer to it, or paraphrase it. Sources come in a variety of different formats, such as books, articles, videos, audio recordings, unpublished materials and more. It is up to you to determine what citation style your subject area requires, and how to properly cite your sources according to the appropriate style guide.
Citing sources is a vital step in all professional and scholarly communication. You need to be able to show your audience the sources you used to create your work, and how they helped you reach your conclusion. In some instances, your reader may wish to go directly to a source you cite; providing and accurate citation will help them locate it.
According to the MLA Handbook,
Academic writing is at its root a conversation among scholars about a topic or question. Scholars write for their peers, communicating the results of their research through books, journal articles, and other forms of published work. In the course of a project, they seek out relevant publications, to learn from and build on earlier research (5).
In the Works Cited Page, the reference above might look something like this:
MLA Handbook. Eighth Edition. The Modern Language Association of America, 2016.
A free reference management and academic social network, Mendeley can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. Features include the ability to automatically generate bibliographies, import papers from other research software, discover relevant papers based on what you're reading, online access to your papers, and apps for iOS and Android.
A free, open-source citation management tool that is available as a standalone program or an extension in Chrome and Firefox. Like other reference management tools, Zotero offers plugins for Microsoft Word and Open Office so you can insert citations as you write.
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