Skip to main content

Read a Citation:  

Cite Your Sources

When you quote or paraphrase another person's idea in your research paper, presentation, or speech, you need to provide a proper citation for the source.

What is a citation?

A citation is a reference to a source of information.

It should include enough identifying information so that a reader can locate a copy of the item. This information can include information like the title, author, journal title, and publication date. Knowing how to interpret citations that you find in indexes or bibliographies, in addition to citing sources for your own references, is an important skill you will use throughout your academic career.

What do citations do?

Proper citations:

  • give credit where credit is due
  • enable others to locate the resource you cited
  • improve the credibility of your work

What is plagiarism?

Using someone else's ideas or language without giving them appropriate credit is called plagiarism. Plagiarizing someone else's work is academically dishonest, and a violation of the NSU honor code. Citation can seem stressful, but avoiding plagiarism is easy-- especially easier than dealing with punitive measures by an instructor, the University, or a publisher. You can read more about plagiarism here.

Articles (Journal Articles)


HINT: When trying to determine whether the library owns a journal, check NovaCat  and/or Full Text Finder by searching for the title of the journal rather than using the title of the article. 


HINT: When trying to determine whether the library owns a book, check NovaCat by searching for the title of the book.

Court Case (or Legal Decision)


  • Dissertation or Thesis - From a Commercial Database

  • Dissertation or Thesis - From an Institutional Database

Statute or Law


Bibliography management software can help you format and manage citations. NSU provides NSU students, faculty, and staff with free access to EndNote.