Your professor has told you that you need to include citations in your paper. But what are those? Citations are the pieces of information that tell your reader where your research came from.
You always want to tell your reader where an idea comes from right at the time that you are explaining it. So there will always be some kind of hint right at the end of a quote or at the end of a paraphrased or summarized section. This hint could look like an in-text citation or as a superscript number that points to a footnote at the bottom of the page or end of the paper.
In addition to the little hint right when you use someone else's ideas you also need to include the complete information for where that idea comes from. This is often at the end of the paper, but could also be in a footnote at the bottom of the page.
There are three main reasons why we cite our sources:
No matter what "style" you are writing your paper in, the information needed to cite your sources is similar.
Generally, you will include:
While the kinds of information you need in your citation are similar no matter what type of thing you are citing (article, video, etc.), where you find that information can change pretty dramatically. Here are two examples of where to find the following information:
(Not every type of source will have every type of information--this video doesn't have pieces number 4, 6, or 7 and that's ok).
You've found all the pieces that you need in order to write a citation. Good work! Now is the moment when you need to know what style of citation you are using. Are you using APA, Chicago, MLA? Maybe another style?
If you aren't sure, take a look at your syllabus or assignment instructions. Your professor probably mentioned which one they want you to use.
Now, use the tabs on the left side of the page here to find the style you are using. Each of these tabs have examples of what citations look like in that specific style for a variety of common things you might cite (like peer-reviewed articles, websites, YouTube videos, and more).