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Economics: Citation Help

A guide to resources in economics

Citation Guides for Economics Students

Before you begin, ask your professor which style manual you should use. For your convenience, links to the JEL style and other popular style manuals are listed below. Manuals are also available for in-library use at the Snell Library.


APA (Purdue Online Writing Lab)
Chicago Manual of Style (NU only)
JEL (Journal of Economic Literature)

Why Should You Cite?

Using footnotes, bibliographies, and similar strategies serves two main purposes:

  1. It gives credit to the person who created the idea.
  2. It allows your readers to locate the sources you used, therefore they can read or judge them for themselves.

What is Plagiarism?

Also see our guide to Avoiding Plagiarism.

Northeastern University's Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as "using as one’s own the words, ideas, data, code, or other original academic material of another without providing proper citation or attribution. Plagiarism can apply to any assignment, either final or drafted copies, and it can occur either accidentally or deliberately. Claiming that one has “forgotten” to document ideas or material taken from another source does not exempt one from plagiarizing."

The following sources require citation:

  • Word-for-word quotations from a source, including another student’s work.
  • Paraphrasing (using the ideas of others in your own words).
  • Unusual or controversial facts not widely recognized.
  • Audio, video, digital, or live exchanges of ideas, dialogue, or information.