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A citation is a reference to the source of an idea, information or image.
Any words, ideas or images that you do not create yourself must be given credit if you use them in your work.
Citing information sources lets the audience know the origins of your information (in case they would like to locate the original), gives credit to the originator (credit where credit is due) and helps you to avoid plagiarism.
Use the citation style specified by your professor. MLA style is most commonly associated with humanities research. APA style is most commonly associated with social sciences and sciences research. CSE style is most commonly associated with the sciences. Chicago style has two options for citing and is used for many subjects across disciplines.
Choose a blue tab above to select a citation style.
Citation builders help you format citations properly. Often, they may be included in a database, usually as part of the print/save/email function, or in a "cite" button. Remember that you are responsible for the accuracy of your citations. Computers sometimes make mistakes. The citations are only as good as the information provided to the citation builders.
There are also independent citation builders that provide completed citations. CCBC provides EasyBib to help you manage your papers and projects.