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Environmental Analysis

Why Do We Cite?

Citing your sources is a way to demonstrate academic honesty and is a way to avoid plagiarism.

Citing your work shows that you have:

  • Completed quality research by listing the sources that you used to get your information.
  • Are a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas.
  • Made every attempt to avoid plagiarism by quoting any words and ideas used by other authors.
  • Provided a way for your reader to easily find the sources that have you used by citing them accurately in your paper using a bibliography, works cited page or reference list.


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.

Citation Styles

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.

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

Cite Sources with Zotero

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 how to use Zotero

Core Citation Style Handbooks