Why Cite?

 It is important to cite the resources you use when researching a paper for many reasons. 

Why do I need to cite? 

  • It gives credit to the person who created the idea. Remember to cite whether you quote them or not. 
  • It allows your readers to locate the sources you used, so they can read and judge themselves.
  • It provides evidence of your research. 

How do I cite? 

  • If you are writing a paper or assignment, consult with your instructor about the proper style used in your discipline or needed for the assignment. 
  • If you are writing for publication, check the author guidelines on a publisher's web page for the required style.

More Resources:

What is Plagiarism?

What is Plagiarism? 

Northeastern University Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as: 

"..... 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." 


  • Plagiarism is an act of cheating.
  • It disrupts the trust between a student and an instructor, and among classmates.
  • It may result in a failing grade for an assignment, or even dismissal from a course.
  • It can lead to a ruined reputation and loss of one's job.


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. 


Since it is a serious violation of intellectual integrity, plagiarism harms the reputation of the university as well as the individual. For more information, see our guide to Avoiding Plagiarism and read the policy on  Northeastern University Academic Integrity Policy


Choosing a Citation Manager