When writing papers or creating original work in any form, you must give credit to those from whom you've borrowed ideas, words, or materials, even if you are paraphrasing or summarizing. Citing your sources allows you to:
By properly citing your sources, you avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is taking someone's ideas and passing them off as one's own. It can be done intentionally and unintentionally, but either way, it can get you in serious trouble--both academically and legally.
When you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or refer to someone else's work, you are required to cite the source.
Things to Cite:
What Does Not Need to be Cited:
Depending on your discipline or course, a citation style may be preferred or required. For more information on different citations styles and how to cite specific sources, check out our Citation Styles Guide.