General Guidelines for Documenting Sources


s a student at Central Connecticut State University, you are responsible for honest academic work.  You are held accountable for what is written in your papers.


In order to avoid academic misconduct, you must give credit to all sources used in writing papers.  Items to be cited include:


         Another person's ideas, opinions, or theories

         Any facts, statistics, drawings, or graphs

         Quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words

         Paraphrase of another person's actual spoken or written words

         Anything that is not common knowledge


You may quote, paraphrase, or summarize information in the body of a paper to support a point or present information.


Quote: Using exact words, spoken or written.

Paraphrase: Putting the original words into your own words.

Summarize: Putting original words into fewer of your own words.




Formatting your citations properly is an important part of writing a paper.  It is important that you follow the formatting requirements for your particular area of study.  Consult a writing handbook and your instructor's guidelines for the general format of your paper.  The discipline within which you are reporting determines the style.  Some formats are:


MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used for courses in English, foreign languages, film, and literature.


APA (American Psychological Association) style is used for courses in the social sciences such as anthropology, economics, psychology, and sociology. The life sciences such as biology, environmental science, and medicine use a similar style.  Check the requirements.


The Chicago Manual Style (footnotes and endnotes) use footnotes or endnotes for professional writing, for cross-disciplinary courses, and for courses in business and law.


The Columbia Online Style is the most comprehensive and logical style for reporting electronic sources.


The CBE (Council of Biology Editors) and ACS (American Chemical Society) endorse the numbered reference system, although CBE also endorses the author-date system.  Check with your professor.  The ACS Number System is used for courses in mathematics, statistics, physics, and chemistry.  It may also be specified for other courses in the sciences.


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