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Citation Guide

A descriptive guide to both APA and MLA style citation.

Why do we cite sources?

There are a few concepts that help explain the importance of citation in assignments:

Scholarship as conversation

When you do research on a topic, you are engaging with others' research and ideas through articles, lectures, interviews, etc. Often that research and those ideas are also built on the work of others who are engaged in creating new knowledge in this field of study. By citing your sources, you are providing the thread that connect various participants in, and contributing to, a broader continually evolving conversation.

Information has value

It is important to give credit to others' for their ideas.  Intellectual property has both legal and social elements that are defined by the context in which it is used. In the context of higher education in North America, others' information is valued and should be properly attributed as a principle of academic honesty.

When do we cite information sources?

You get your research assignment from your professor and they require that you cite your sources. Maybe they want you to use APA or MLA, or some

  • Direct Quotations: When you use the author’s exact words
  • Paraphrasing: When you summarize someone else’s words or ideas
  • Facts: When you mention something that is not common knowledge
  • Images: When you use pictures, charts, and graphics that someone else created in a presentation 

Which citation style should I use?

Your instructor should specify which citation style to use for written assignments, presentations, etc. The following table outlines citation style preferences by field of study:

Program Cluster Citation Style Programs
Culinary APA ADVANCED DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS & RESTAURANT OWNERSHIP; CERTIFICATE IN BAKING & PASTRY ARTS - LEVEL 1; CERTIFICATE IN CULINARY ARTS - LEVEL 1; DIPLOMA IN BAKING & PASTRY ARTS; DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS; DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS WITH CO-OP; DIPLOMA IN HOSPITALITY & RESTAURANT BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Graphic Design & Photography MLA BACHELOR OF DESIGN IN GRAPHIC DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY; DIPLOMA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN & FOUNDATION FOR DESIGN
Fashion APA BACHELOR OF FASHION DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN FASHION DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN FASHION MARKETING
Game APA BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GAME PROGRAMMING; DIPLOMA IN GAME ART & DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN VISUAL & GAME PROGRAMMING
Interior Design APA BACHELOR OF APPLIED DESIGN IN INTERIOR DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN INTERIOR DESIGN
Media Arts MLA DIPLOMA IN 3D MODELING FOR ANIMATION & GAMES; DIPLOMA IN ANIMATION ART & DESIGN; DIPLOMA IN DIGITAL FILM & VIDEO; DIPLOMA IN PROFESSIONAL RECORDING ARTS; DIPLOMA IN PROFESSIONAL RECORDING ARTS (LIPA); DIPLOMA IN VFX FOR FILM & TELEVISION
     

Creative Commons License CC by NC 4.0 This guide was adapted from one created by Tessa Withorn, Carolyn Caffrey Gardner, Maggie Clarke, and Jillian Holt Eslami at CSUDH Library and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.