Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Online Library Student Resources

Resources available remotely from the GWC Library.

What Does 'Citing' Mean?

cite: Refer to (a passage, book, or author) as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work.

“Cite.” English Oxford Living Dictionaries, Oxford University, 2018,

What does that mean for you as a student?

Each school subject may have a different 'style' of citing that you need to use to justify your argument. Also, you need to cite to show your instructors where you got your evidence.

There are two ways you need to cite sources in your research*:

  1. In the text (or body) of the paper when a source is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized (in-text citations).
  2. In an alphabetical list at the end of the paper (Works Cited in MLA or References in APA).

*Your research includes any speeches, presentations, or papers that you produce using outside sources.

Video: "Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction"

Use Information Ethically

Avoid plagiarism!

  • Plagiarism occurs when the creative work of another individual is imitated or used without authorization, or when the creative work of someone else is represented as one's own work.

Cite ALL of your sources (including images, videos, audio) using:

  • Quotations
  • In-text references
  • A Works Cited, References or Bibliography page

Some Tips:

  • Avoid cutting and pasting.
  • Basic, known facts are OK to use (e.g., Washington was our 1st President.)
  • Even if you are paraphrasing someone else's ideas using your words (rather than quoting), you must cite.
  • Give yourself time for the writing process.

When in doubt, cite!


Plagiarism may take many forms:

  • cheating,
  • copying information directly without providing quotation marks,
  • failing to cite sources, or
  • citing sources incorrectly.

Video: 10 Types of Plagiarism

The video below uses Turnitin's "The Plagiarism Spectrum" to help identify common types:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License unless noted otherwise .