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Citing Sources


Writing a paper or doing a project and need help with citations? You've come to the right place. This guide will help you find and use the best information about many types of citation and formatting styles. 

Why cite?

Why Cite?

When you directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize someone else's work within your own work, you need to cite that author or creator. A citation tells readers where the quote or information originated, which allows them to verify the information or do more research after reading your work. Citations are necessary to help avoid plagiarism, or using someone else's work without giving them credit for it. 

As a student at Colorado College, you pledge to uphold the Honor Code, which promotes honesty, integrity, and fairness. Citing sources in your paper and projects supports these standards and your commitment to the Honor Code.

What is Plagiarism?

When you use someone's work and do not acknowledge it with a citation, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you commit plagiarism. Read more about what plagiarism is at and Purdue OWL.

What do I Cite?

Citations are used for anything not created by you or common knowledge. You should cite things such as:

  • Quoted or paraphrased text from a book, article, website, etc.
  • Facts and data gathered by someone else
  • Figures and images
  • Videos


"Should I Cite this?" image from Purdue OWL

The Writing Center

The Writing Center offers an arena where students can work through the writing process and improve the expression of their ideas by participating in individualized conferences with trained peer consultants and professional staff. For hours, and to make an appointment visit the Writing Center.