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Research Guides

ENGR/HCDE 231: Introduction to Technical Writing - Fall 2018: Giving Credit: Citing your Sources!

Why is it So Important to Give Credit to my Sources?

  • Giving credit to your sources is called Citing or Referencing a source. This is important so that someone who is reading your paper can go back and find the sources you have used in your research. They may want to verify that you reported the accurate information or data that was discussed in the article or they may want to read more about it.
  • Citations are an integral and vital part of the Scientific Research Publication Cycle. In other words, researchers or scientists base their work on what their colleagues have done. The ability to follow the trail to see what others are doing in their field is crucial to the advancement of the research, whether it be science, humanities research theory or social science theories.
  • Below is a list of the most commonly used citation styles used in Engineering fields and links to their Style Manual. A style manual will tell you exactly how to format your citations, whether it's a scholarly article, a magazine article, an online resource, or a YouTube video! Using the correct format ensures the citations are consistent across the literature so that anyone can follow someone else's research and advancing and developing the field.

What is APA Citation Style?

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is widely used in the social sciences, business, and some of the life sciences.

There are two parts to referencing: the citations within the text of your paper ("in-text citations") and the reference list at the end of your paper.

The APA referencing style is an "author-date" system, so the citation in the text consists of the author(s) and year of publication given wholly or partly in round brackets.

This guide gives example citations for the most common information formats used in APA Style, as well as links to all types of sources used in a Reference List and specific formatting examples. Examples are based on the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

For more examples of APA citations, check out the APA Example Citation Guide

For more APA formatting guidelines, check out the APA Formatting Guide

Online APA Resources & Examples

Scientific Research Publication Cycle

Graphic of Scientific Research Publiication Style

What is IEEE Citation Style?

The 2017 editorial style manual of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a style commonly used in technical fields like computer science.

The complete IEEE Editorial Style Manual  (PDF) is free to download from IEEE and contains a formal set of editorial guidelines for IEEE Transactions, Journals, and Letters.

More Citation Management Resources

The UW main Citation Styles and Tools Guide has links to more citation styles in addition to free software you can use to manage  your research citations.