Why Citing is Important
Citations allow the reader to determine information's source. Discussing citations encompasses footnotes, end notes, bibliographies, works consulted, works cited, and more. Citations are a uniform way in which the author of a work may convey where his information comes from. Since it is standardized, readers in specific disciplines become accustomed to retrieving information from published works in a certain way. This allows for ease of access to pertinent information. In addition, proper citation ensures credit is given where credit is due and helps reduce unintentional plagiarism.
If you are having trouble with citations, never fear! Help is available.
EndNote is a program that allows a user to cite while writing and compiles a reference library to facilitate creating bibliographies. UTSA students can download the program and use it for free by logging into ASAP and selecting Software Downloads. The UTSA library system offers an online EndNote Tutorial and Research Guide.
Citation Monster allows you to plug in bibliographic information and will format the citation for you.
Zotero will "clip, sort, and cite the entire web," according to its website.
Patrons can also check out style guides that go into detail about using specific citation styles. Most of the library's databases will generate a citation for you, but be sure to double check it for accuracy.
Take a look at the library's tutorials for citing books, articles, and websites.
Common Citation Styles
Citation Styles by Academic Discipline
|Architecture||Chicago, APA, or MLA|
|Art History||Chicago or Turabian|
|History||Chicago or Turabian|
|Law and Legal Studies||Bluebook|
|Medicine & Health||AMA|
|Philosophy||Chicago or MLA|
If you are unsure about the correct citation style to use, verify with your professor or check your syllabus.
Citations styles are fluid. They change and update to meet the need of changing research and publication. That makes this guide a fluid and imperfect document. If you notice something that could be updated, corrected, or changed, please ask a librarian. Also, if you would like to offer up a paper to illustrate one of the citation styles lacking a paper sample, let us know.
This guide was originally created by Emme Lopez.
Ask a Librarian
To create a citation, one must have the bibliographic information.
Bibliographic information describes and identifies a work as follows:
- WHO created the work
- WHEN it was published, created, or performed
- WHERE it was published, created, or performed
- WHAT is the format (book, film, play, study, proceeding)
When using electronic information, one might need:
- The URL or Database Name
- WHEN the URL or database was visited
Do Not Cite...
Common knowledge does not require citation. Even if you learned a few facts while researching, you don't necessarily need to cite all of them. What constitutes "common knowledge" will vary according to discipline and the audience your paper addresses. If in doubt, cite it. It is better to over-cite than to unintentionally plagiarize another person's work.