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DLM 120 Imagining Home: Global Migrations—Religious and Cultural Identities in Disaspora: Reading the fine print

Why citing is important

It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list

If you need further assistance with citing sources, use Ask A Librarian.

What to cite

You must cite:

  • Any words from books, book chapters, articles, web pages, theses etc. that you referenced that you summarize, paraphrase or quote directly in your paper or presentation.
  • Charts, graphs, images, data that you did not create yourself.

When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!

Getting the most from citations

If you have found one useful article for your research, you can use it to find more useful articles. Here are some strategies to do that:

1. The most obvious idea: as you read the article, you will identify important points or claim the author makes. They will likely support those ideas with evidence from sources they cite using parenthetical citations or footnotes. Look up those references in the bibliography and find them in the library databases! This will help you understand the background / history of the scholarly conversation you were reading in your article. It will also allow you to think critically about your article's conclusions - do they really follow logically from the evidence they cited? You be the judge!

2. Use the "Cited by" feature of databases like Web of Science (or even Google Scholar) to find the articles that cited your article. Those articles will likely be on similar topics and continue the scholarly conversation / add new knowledge or information to what was said in your article.

3. Look for more articles by the same author on the same topic. Many scholars write multiple articles on a topic they have been researching.

4. Use the Subject terms links in databases like Ebsco's Academic Search Complete. These are the terms the database uses to describe your topic, so they will help you find similar articles. Also, use any keywords the author assigned to their article for new searches. And use any discipline specific vocabulary that you learned when reading your article for new searches.

Online Chicago/Turabian Style Resources


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Karoline Manny
Karoline Manny
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