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Last Updated: Jun 20, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Citing Your Sources Print Page

Why do you need to cite your sources?

The purpose of citing sources is to give credit to the authors or the sources you use, to give credibility to the facts you state, and to enable anyone who uses your work to locate these sources and determine their validity. This makes it very important to include accurate information and double check your citations.

It is also important that citations be uniform in style so that readers can properly interpret their meaning. Citation styles vary. The important thing is that whichever citation style is used, it is applied consistently and uniformly.  Below is a list of websites to guide you through some of the citation styles.  If you need assistance with citations, contact us at the library. Alternatively, the Center for Writers, located in the lower level of the Library, can assist you with writing challenges, including citation questions.


Citation Help in Print

Cover Art
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Call Number: REFERENCE BF76.7 .P83 2010
ISBN: 1433805596

Citation Help Online

Refer to the EndNote Online tutorial for using EndNote.

  • EndNote
    EndNote is a citation software tool that allows you to save and organize citations needed for your research. You can also create a bibliography that can easily be inserted into a paper, presentation, webpage, etc. EndNote provides hundreds of citation styles to choose from, including the frequently-used APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.
    Before you begin, you’ll need to create a free account with EndNote.
  • Online Writing Lab (OWL) @ Purdue
    These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.
  • Son of Citation Machine
    Citation machine helps students and professional researchers to properly credit the information that they use. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources, that there is virtually no reason not to -- because...someday the information that someone else wants to use -- will be yours!
  • The Basics of APA Style (online tutorial)
    This tutorial is designed for those who have no previous knowledge of APA Style. It shows users how to structure and format their work, recommends ways to reduce bias in language, identifies how to avoid charges of plagiarism, shows how to cite references in text, and provides selected reference examples.
  • Zotero
    Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

Citation Help within Databases

Many electronic databases have built-in tools to help you cite your sources. Below is an example the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (EBSCOhost).

When viewing the detailed information of a record, click on the "Cite" icon on the right side of the screen. You will then be given options as to what style you wish to use. Be sure to check it for accuracy, however; it may not be 100% correct.


North Dakota State University Libraries
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Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Reference (701) 231-8886
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