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WRT 105 Writing About Food (Keller)

How to cite appropriately

How do you cite appropriately?

There are a number of standard academic citation styles; the three most common are APA, MLA, and Chicago. While styles differ in terms of formatting conventions, all citation styles follow two basic principles.


(in-text citations & metalanguage)

You must clearly distinguish between your ideas and voice and those of another source, “signaling” to the reader that the quote, information, or idea has come from another source and is not your own. A footnote or parenthetical notation within the text are common methods of doing this; writers often also include metalanguage such as signal phrases (such as “according to…” or “Smith states...”) in order to avoid confusion on the part of the reader.


(publication information)

You must provide a “pathway” to enable the reader to locate the original source of the quote, information or idea. A list of “Works Cited” (also called “References” or “Bibliography,” depending on the citation style) is the appropriate way to do this, specifying the title of the work being cited, the author, the publisher, and the date. If citing a web page, the URL and date accessed are often included.


The Sandwich Principle



When paraphrasing or summarizing another author in more than one sentence a citation marker at the end of the last sentence is seldom enough signaling for a reader to know where the other idea started. To avoid the appearance of claiming someone else’s ideas as your own, sandwich the idea between a signal phrase at the beginning of the first sentence and a citation marker at the end of the last sentence of the summary or paraphrase.



[1] This section is adapted from a handout by Rachel Lee, “WRT 105 Citation Guidelines”

Citing your Sources

It is essential to cite your sources of information when writing an assignment or research project.

There are many different citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc). Different disciplines use different styles that reflect better the interests of their readers. Generally your professor will let you know which style to use. If your professor has no preference, choose a style yourself and be consistent, use the same style throughout your paper.

Citations give credit for ideas to the originator and allow the reader to track down the original sources of the information. Failure to cite your sources constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is a problematic and controversial topic in the sciences, ask your professor when in doubt or check the Academic Honesty Box for additional information.

Check the following video to learn more:

Websites with good citation advice:

Major components of a citation

No matter what style you're using, the main thing your citation needs to do is help your reader find the source you used.

Citations of particular materials (i.e., books, journals, websites) are easily recognizable by the content that they require. When writing citations from scratch, be sure to include the following general components.


  • Title
  • Author(s)
  • Publisher
  • Publication Place
  • Year

Journal articles:

  • Title of article
  • Title of journal
  • Article author(s)
  • Volume
  • Issue
  • Year
  • Page numbers


  • Website author (a person or an organization)
  • Title of website
  • Web address
  • Date of last revision
  • Date that site was accessed