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Urban Studies & Planning

Why Should I Cite

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[Why We Cite]

Do you think the only reason your professor asks you to cite your work is because they suspect you of plagiarism? Wrong! Here are four reasons why you should cite!

  1. Broaden Your Horizons

    1. Your professors ask you to use a variety of sources because they know that your own thinking and ideas will be enhanced when you consult the ideas of previous writers on a topic. When you do this in your assignment, the reader will get the sense that you’re joining the conversation, that you respect other thinkers, and that you’re adding something new to the conversation.

  2. Demonstrate a Sense of Debate  

    1. Don’t only uses sources that support your argument. Sometimes the most effective sources that don’t agree with your point of view. Introducing concepts from sources that show a varying points of view, puts your ideas in a more interesting and contested light. By doing this you show that there is something worth debating or analyzing further.

  3. Give Credit

    1. Just like you would want credit for your own work, writing or ideas, other writers deserve credit for their own work. Recognition is usually the only reward for scholarship. More importantly, giving credit allows your reader to recognize your contribution and ideas.

  4. Further Research on a Topic

    1. Your work on a topic helps further research on that subject. You do this by building and extending on the work of the writers you cite in your assignment. One person’s sources can therefore be an invaluable contribution to another’s research.

 

APA Style Guide, 7th edition

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 7th edition and/or the APA Style website for additional details. There is a print copy available in Reserves (4th floor, east wing) for a two hour checkout.

Additional APA 7th edition resources:

MLA Style Guides, 9th Edition

What has changed since MLA 8th edition?   

  • Not much! MLA 9th edition is an expansion of the 8th edition with new sections on grammar, writing advice, mindful of inclusive language, expansion endnotes & footnotes, and new guidelines for annotated bibliographies.
  • URLs:
  • Continue: if a DOI is available it is preferred over a URL or permalink.
  • DOIs should now include the http:// and https://
  • For general websites, copy and paste from your browser, some will include the www. and some will not. Either is acceptable.
  • Full URLs are recommended but optional especially for long URLs that are three or more lines long.
  • You can shorten URLs to the general site if it is excessively long.
  • Don’t use shortening services such as bit.ly.
  • Remember, when getting a URL from a library database where you have to log in and is behind a closed paywall; use the permalink or stable URL provided by the database. Do not copy and paste the browser URL.  
  • If an article is issued by season (spring, summer, fall, winter) the first letter is now lower case.
  • The appendix includes over 30 pages of citation examples listed by publication format.
  • Shortening University Press publisher name. If the publisher includes University Press, abbreviate to UP. Example, Cambridge University Press would be shortened to Cambridge UP.

MLA Style Center: What's New with the Ninth Edition includes information on formatting your research paper, citation practice template, FAQs, sample papers, and quick guide. They also provide citation guideline for common titles of online works.

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