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A citation is a way to show that you are using someone else's ideas or information in your work. Using someone else's information is not wrong, it shows that you have done your research and helps give credibility to your thoughts. However, you must give credit to the person you got the information from.
Always use a citation for any ideas or information that are not your own. Citations are not just for written papers. They should be used in Powerpoint presentations and other multimedia presentations as well. Types of citations include an in-text citation, a footnote, an endnote, and a listing in the reference list or bibliography. The type of citation you use will depend on what format you need (APA, MLA, etc.). Anything directly copied, that is word for word, needs to be in quotations and have a citation.
An in-text citation comes in the form of a set of parenthesis at the end of the sentence or paragraph that you want to cite. In-text citations are used in APA and MLA styles. Depending on the citation, the parenthesis usually includes the author's name, publication date, and the page number.
Ex: (Jones, 2015, p. 25)
A footnote is found at the end of a text and is marked by a superscript on the information you want to cite. Footnotes are commonly used in Chicago-style writing and provide a citation, reference, or background information. Footnotes are found at the bottom of the same page with the information you are citing.
Ex: Albert Einstein created the general theory of relativity.1
1. Brad Meltzer, I am Albert Einstein, (New York: Dial Books for Young Reader, Penguin Group, 2014)
An endnote is similar to a footnote in that it is also marked by a superscript in the text that corresponds with a number and is also used in Chicago style. Endnotes also contain a citation, reference, or background information. An endnote differs in that it does not appear at the bottom of the page but rather at the end of the entire text.
To find more information about different citation styles, visit the Citation Tools Library Guide.