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STS 179-K - Data and Society. FA21 / Professor Babintseva

Citing Your Sources

There are many different "styles" you may choose from when citing sources. Your professor will probably tell you which "style" is preferred for your class. MLA (Modern Language Association), Chicago, and APA (American Psychological Association) are the three which are used most often by students at The Claremont Colleges.

To get started, watch the short video below about using Zotero to help you cite your sources. Then, download Zotero and the browser extension to your computer to start citing. 

If you wish to learn more about citing sources, use one of the guides listed below. 

What is a Citation?

A citation gives the reader enough information to find the work you are citing. In general, when you create a citation, you are recording the following information:

  • Author or authors
  • Title of work
  • When it was published
  • Where it was published
  • Where to find it (url, volume, chapter, etc)

When to Cite

Giving credit where credit is due is an important and highly regarded concept in academic work. It is the way we acknowledge the many foundations on which our own endeavors are built. Citing is not something created just to annoy you. It is a fundamental aspect of being someone who learns.

A citation should be created when:

  • Paraphrasing
  • Quoting
  • Summarizing

Common sense rules:

  • Use the citation style assigned by you professor. 
  • If your professor does not have a preference, use the style with which you are most familiar.
  • Never copy the formatting of a citation from another publication. Publishers generally have their own particular style formats that differ from others. 
  • Visit your campus Writing Center for in-person help. 

Plagiarism Defined

When attribution is not given for other people’s work or ideas, that is known as plagiarism. Sometimes the intent is malicious and meant to deceive, but in many cases, plagiarism is the unintentional result of bad note-taking, rushing to complete a project or "borrowing" sections of code. Accidental plagiarism can happen in any field.

Each of The Claremont Colleges has their own code of ethics with regard to plagiarism and academic integrity. Please review your campus standards on their website by searching "plagiarism" or review your student handbook.

Use Zotero to Cite Your Sources

Citation Managers are tools to help you keep track of your citations as you research and to create/format your citations and bibliography. For example, Zotero allows you to keep citations, full text articles, and other research resources organized in one place. You can also use these tools to format your bibliographies and the notes/citations in your papers according to the appropriate style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

Watch this video to learn more about Zotero