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Critical Thinking & Academic Research

This guide is created to aid you in your development of critical thinking skills and in your ability to conduct research using library resources.

Citing Resources Properly

In order to understand how to cite resources properly first understand why citing matters. 

Citing is important because:

  • Shows your audience that you have done relevant research and know about your topic;
  • Let's you acknowledge other researchers' work;
  • Helps you avoid plagiarism;
  • Allows other researchers to follow your research process, see or use the same sources you used. 

What to cite and NOT to cite?

What to cite?

  • Ideas, interpretations, or conclusions that you find in a resource
  • The research you found in scholarly resources and the facts you found within that research 
  • Information you gain through interviewing or conversing with another person, face to face, over the phone
  • Nontextual information that you found in other resources:

             sound, diagrams, illustrations, charts, videos, digital media, pictures, or other visual materials

What NOT to cite?

  • Your own words, ideas, and original research
  • Common knowledge

How to cite?

Know Your Citation Style

  • Know your Citation Style by consulting your classroom professor. Every discipline's citation style is different. 
  • MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian are the most common citation styles. 

Know Three Citing Methods

After learning the mechanics and different rules of the various citation styles, you should know that there are three ways to cite no matter what the citation style is! The combined usage of these three ways of citing often comes with practice.

These three methods of citing are:

1- Using Quotations

2- Paraphrasing 

3- Summarizing

Watch the below quick video explaining these citing methods when using information resources for your work. 

The next section will explain how to incorporate citations using your critical thinking and how to embed the citation into your work. 


G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University