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Research Guides

The Research Process: A How-To Guide: 7. Cite Your Sources

This guide walks you through the seven steps of the research process.

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Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes.

1) It gives proper credit to the authors of the words or ideas that you incorporated into your paper.

2) It allows those who are reading your work to locate your sources, in order to learn more about the ideas that you cite.

Citing your sources consistently and accurately helps you avoid committing plagiarism in your writing.

Tips for Documenting Sources

  • As you do your research, keep track of the citation information for every source that you think you may use.
  • Many databases allow you to create, export or email citations in the style of your choosing.  Paste these citations into a running list of sources in a Word document.
  • Use note cards to write down specific ideas or quotes that you want to include in your paper, along with the citation info of the source of those words/ideas.

Citation Help

See the Geisel Guide to Citing Sources for resources on how to create in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliographies in the most common citation styles.

You can also get help at the Geisel Library Reference Desk.  We have copies of all the major citation style manuals that you can borrow.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Walk through this tutorial to get a better understanding of what actions are considered plagiarism, and learn practical tips for how to avoid committing plagiarism.