It is always important to acknowledge any outside sources (such as a textbook, a novel, a movie, etc.) that you have used in your writing.
Whether you are directly quoting a source, paraphrasing ideas from a source, or structuring a certain kind of assignment (such as description or a comparison and contrast) around sources, you need to properly acknowledge each source in order to inform your readers, give credit to the ideas and words belonging to others, and avoid plagiarism.
There a quite a few formal styles of referencing outside sources; the styles developed by the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) are the most widely used, especially by students in the university stystem. By using these styles and applying their rules to your writing, you are establishing a relationship between your own original work and the work of your sources in a way that your readers can understand and appreciate.
- Using MLA Style
- Using APA Style
- Avoiding Plagiarism (for help understanding when and how to reference sources)
Visit our Writing Resources page for addition links to information on these and additional styles.