Citing Sources

Knowing how to properly cite a source will help you avoid claims of plagiarism.  Looking for a tool to help you manage your bibliographic references?  The OHSU Library subscribes to Refworks, a free service to OHSU students, faculty and staff.

Review the main research components listed below to become familiar with when and how they are used.


Good research is documented in order to share resources and to give credit to the work of others. A citation directs the reader to the location of the cited material by including information about the author, title of the work and publisher. Common citation styles include MLA and APA. APA is typically used for the sciences.  


The reference is a list of resources (books, journals, websites and periodicals) that you have used in your paper. Typically references contain information about the author, title, date, and publisher.Web resources such as EasyBib and Bibme can help you create citations using the correct APA formatting style.

In-Text Citation: 

In-text citations direct the reader to the source referenced at the end of the document. For more information about creating in-text citation, refer to

Direct Quote:

A direct quote uses the original material word for word. Direct quotes should be used sparingly to reinforce or emphasize a main idea. Select direct quotes based on the strength of the idea or concept. Direct quotes often used when the quote is difficult to paraphrase without changing the works original meaning.


Summarizing is the process of condensing an idea, argument, or concept into a sentence using your own words. It is important to understand the content before trying to summarize it. A summary may be as short as a single sentence or as long as a few paragraphs depending on the level of detail you want to highlight. Both direct quotes and summaries must include the in-text citation.


Placing other authors' words and style into your own is called paraphrasing. Like summarizing, it is important to understand fully what the author is trying to convey without using any unique language from the author's quote. Like summarizing, you must use an in-text citation.