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Citing sources used to write your paper shows how widely you've read -- a good thing!
Others can gauge the reliability of the information in your paper or project. Through your citations, readers can locate the sources you used and evaluate the accuracy of the information for themselves.
Others can better conduct their own research. You direct them to both the sources you used and to the resources those sources cite.
You give credit where credit is due when you clearly state that the information you're presenting draws from the work of other people. When you present others' research or ideas as your own, intentionally or not, that's plagiarism. Make sure that you understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, both in your academic and professional life. For more information, visit our Prevent Plagiarism guide.
What style should I use?
Check with your instructor for requirements for a particular assignment. At STLCC the MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style is used in most English and Communications classes. The APA (American Psychological Association) style is used in Nursing, Psychology, and many Social Sciences and Teacher Education classes.