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ARHU202X: Contemporary Research Methods for Creatives

Use this research guide to find resources and learn about methods to help with creative research.

Why Cite?

Quote iconCitations are an important part of any research project.

There are several citation styles scholars use to appropriately attribute the ideas and opinions of others they've used in their own work. Different fields of study have different preferences, but your instructor will let you know which citation style you should be using for each course's assignments. Regardless of citation style, citations always include important bibliographic details that allow readers to locate exactly where you found the information you used to build your arguments in your own work. Whether you quote a citation word-for-word or paraphrase an idea, you must provide a citation! You should cite whatever resources you use for your research projects, including books, journal articles, newspapers, videos, websites, etc.

Citing your sources and giving credit where credit is due is an important part of using other's work for your research. By citing your sources, you are avoiding plagiarism. You can learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it from our Plagiarism Research Guide

Citations also allow your readers to find more information about the facts and opinions you present in your work. They allow your readers to identify the range of perspectives you've considered and how the work of others has informed your own conclusions.

The bibliographic details that you'll need for your citations, regardless of citation style and resource format, include:

  • Author(s)
  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Publication Date 

For some citation styles, you might also need additional information, such as page numbers.

For more information on citation and different citation styles, see the Cite My Sources Research Guide.

Citation Tools

Citation tools help writers by automatically formatting their sources according to standard citation styles. Though these are great tools for understanding the logical order of citations, they should be use cautiously. Remember, these are automated and require careful editing to make sure punctuation, capitalization, syntax, spelling, and grammar are correct. 

Citation Tools in Databases

Many of the library databases offer built-in citation generators if you are using resources such as articles or studies from their collections. Again, be cautious when using these citation tools and be sure to double-check for accuracy.