Skip to Main Content

Media Literacy or Fake News: Develop Your Fact-Checking Skills: Citations

Cite Your Sources

Wikipedian Protester

Why cite sources?  Basic reasons include:

  • to avoid plagiarism
  • to give others credit for their ideas
  • to allow your reader to locate the sources you used for your research

Whether you are quoting, paraphrasing, copying and pasting, or just referencing, you do need to cite:

  • Anyone else's articulated ideas, arguments, opinions, or experiences.
  • Artwork, pictures, videos, or other creative works produced by others.
  • Direct quotations of any words written or spoken by others.
  • Unique phrases or terms coined by others.
  • Data, statistics, or facts produced or documented by others.
  • Published research details and results, whether conducted by you or others.
  • And much more!

Please remember this list is not exhaustive, and it does apply to most citation style guidelines!  If you're uncertain when to cite something, check with your instructor, ask a librarian, or seek the answer in the appropriate style manual.

Image used under Creative Commons License from Randall Munroe


Kindlon Hall
5700 College Rd.
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 829-6050


Gillett Hall
225 E. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 878-7514