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How To...Cite Your Sources

Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity

Academic Honesty means being honest and ethical about the way that you do academic work. This includes citing and acknowledging when you borrow from the work of others. As Holy Cross students, you are required to follow the College's Academic Honesty policy. 

Excerpt from the College policy: 

"It is the responsibility of students, independent of the faculty’s responsibility, to understand the proper methods of using and quoting from source materials (as explained in standard handbooks such as The Little Brown Handbook and the Harbrace College Handbook), and to take credit only for work they have completed through their own individual efforts within the guidelines established by the faculty."


For more information and guidelines on Academic Honesty, visit the
 Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity Research Guide


What needs to be cited?
In addition to citing exact quotations from your sources, you need to cite any ideas or words that you did not think up yourself. You should always cite:

  • Anything you summarize from another source
  • Websites (even if there is no author listed)
  • Information you received from other people, such as information learned during interviews
  • Graphs, illustrations, and any other visual items you use in your work. (This includes images from websites.)
  • Video and audio recordings that you sample in your work.

Some things that you don't need to cite:

  • Your own life experiences or ideas
  • Your own results from lab or field experiments
  • Any artwork or media you have created yourself
  • “Common knowledge” (This is information that can be found undocumented in many places and is likely to be known by many people.)

When in doubt, cite!



From the Claremont Colleges Library's tutorial on Exploring Academic Integrity:


Good practices for taking notes:

  • Before writing a note, read the original text over until you understand the meaning.
  • Use quotation marks around any exact phrasing you use from the original source.
  • While you are taking your notes, record the source for each piece of information (including page numbers) in you notes so that you’ll be able to cite the source in your paper.

Use a variety of sources in your research. 
If you use only one source, you may end up using too many of that author’s ideas and words.


Plan ahead and leave yourself enough time to do your research and writing.
If you are rushing to finish your paper, you’ll be more likely to improperly cite things or to accidentally plagiarize.

The Writer's Workshop

All writers, no matter their skill level, benefit from sharing their writing with others. The Writer’s Workshop supports students’ development as writers and communicators at any stage of the writing process as they write in any genre, and in any discipline. 

At the Writer's Workshop, Holy Cross students meet with trained, peer consultants to talk about their progress as writers. Consultants guide students toward the path to becoming more confident writers by: 

  • discussing assignments 
  • brainstorming ideas 
  • creating outlines to organize and write a first draft 
  • improving organization and clarity of their already written drafts 
  • developing and better articulating their ideas from first to polished drafts

The Workshop is staffed by trained peer consultants who help students expand their repertoires of effective writing strategies during individual, 45-minute appointments. We take revision seriously and understand that writing and rewriting play a significant role in a liberal arts education. All writers, no matter their skill level, benefit from sustained conversations about their work. Consultants work with students on essays, seminar papers, lab reports, literature reviews, reflections, personal statements, and almost any genre of writing you can think of. If a student is using words, we are ready to talk about it.

Make an appointment, FAQs, etc.

OWL at Purdue

Conducting Research

These OWL resources will help you conduct research using primary source methods, such as interviews and observations, and secondary source methods, such as books, journals, and the Internet. This area also includes materials on evaluating research sources.

Using Research

These OWL resources will help you use the research you have conducted in your documents. This area includes material on quoting and paraphrasing your research sources, as well as material on how to avoid plagiarism.

APA Style

These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.

MLA Style

These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the Works Cited page, as well as MLA sample papers, slide presentations, and the MLA classroom poster.

Chicago Manual of Style

This section contains information on the Chicago Manual of Style method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, which was issued in 2017.