Foundations of Academic Literacy (FAL): Citing & writing

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What do you have to cite?

Everything that you used for your paper: articles, books, ideas, statistical information, etc.

Why do you have to cite?

To acknowledge sources that you used for your paper. Citing accurately is an essential part of any research project. Citations provide information to help readers of your paper locate the sources you used. They also provide a way for you to credit other researchers and authors for their original ideas or findings.

Learn more about attribution (giving credit to authors) and plagiarism with the SFU Library's interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism and our Plagiarism guide.

How do you cite?

To cite the sources you used to support your paper, you need to apply the rules from a citation style. There are several citation styles that can be used, such as APA, MLA and Chicago, and each of them illustrates the accepted format for citing the references.  Don't memorize any of these rules! Just apply them by using the style manual or our citation guides.

You can also use citation management software to help you save and format your citations.


The Student Learning Commons

The SLC helps students with a wide range of academic writing, learning, and study strategies. Visit the Student Learning Commons in any of our three library locations to attend workshops or consultations, or use our online resources such as:

  • Writing for University. Learn or review the strategies and processes involved in academic writing and research, including writing for specific genres or disciplines, drafting your paper, self-editing, and writing at the graduate level.