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HDFS 444: Family Violence and Neglect

Selected resources to support course research projects.

Why Cite Sources?

There are many good reasons why scholars and students cite the sources that inform their research and scholarship. Very generally, citing sources is a way to acknowledge when information is not one's own and credit those authors and creators who originated the information being used. Citing is the formal way that the acknowledgement and credit is documented.

In addition to giving credit to others for the work they have done, citing also:

  • lends credibility and authority to scholarly and other writing by providing evidence that the writer utilized relevant sources
  • provides the information that readers can use to access the original source of information or ideas
  • provides context for any original research or argument that the writer is presenting

You may want to review a short tutorial on Why You need to Cite Sources and OSU's Student Conduct Code for information on plagiarism.

APA Citation Basics

The OWL (Online Writing Lab) website from Purdue University provides some great examples of citing in APA style and in MLA style (look at the left side menu on the page for the links to examples for various source types).

There are certain basic things you need to cite just about any source, using just about any format:

  • The AUTHOR (or creator) of the work.  This may be one person, many people, or a group or organization.
  • The TITLE OF THE WORK itself.  For example, the article title, the book title, the chapter title, etc.
  • The JOURNAL or the PUBLISHER or the ORGANIZATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT .  For an article, you include the name of the specific magazine or journal.  For a book, the publishing house. For a website/webpage, include individual authors, if they are noted. Otherwise include the organization name.
  • The PUBLICATION DATE.

There are also certain things that must be included for specific types of works.  For example, for an article or a book chapter, you would provide page numbers.  For a website, you would provide the URL.

The moment when you are most likely to have easy access to all of this information?  When you find it in the first place.  Know then what you need to take note of to cite it effectively later.