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Citing Sources of Information: Writing for the Health Sciences: Overview

This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper.

Definitions

citation reflects all of the information a person would need to locate a particular source. For example, basic citation information for a book consists of name(s) of author(s) or editor(s), title of book, name of publisher, place of publication, and most recent copyright date.

A citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting. 

bibliography lists citations for all of the relevant resources a person consulted during his or her research.

In an annotated bibliography, each citation is followed by a brief note—or annotation—that describes and/or evaluates the source and the information found in it.

works cited list presents citations for those sources referenced in a particular paper, presentation, or other composition.

An in-text citation consists of just enough information to correspond to a source's full citation in a Works Cited list. In-text citations often require a page number (or numbers) showing exactly where relevant information was found in the original source. 

When to Cite

You need to cite when:

  • using a direct quotation, even if it is in quotation marks
  • using facts that are not common knowledge (what the reader can reasonably be expected to know)
  • paraphrasing or rewriting the author’s ideas
  • summarizing the data or argument of an author
  • using the key words or phrases from the author or using synonyms
  • mentioning the author’s name in your text
  • writing a sentence that mostly consists of your own thoughts, but you have made a reference to another author’s ideas

 When in doubt, err on the side of caution, and cite. 

Health Sciences Research Services Librarian

Yingting Zhang's picture
Yingting Zhang
Contact:
RWJ Library of the Health Sciences,
1 RWJ Place, PO Box 19, New Brunswick, NJ 08903; ORCiD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0757-1837.
732-235-7604
Website

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