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Tackling Information Problems (TIP): Cite your sources

Information Literacy tutorial for undergraduate students

Cite your sources

In your work, you present your thinking about your topic, supported and developed by other people’s ideas and information. It is crucial that all ideas taken from a source (whether quoted directly, paraphrased, or summarized) have a citation. 

Why cite?

Citing your sources is important for a number of reasons. You need to cite: 

  • to support your ideas with evidence;
  • to give credit to the authors of sources you have used;
  • to demonstrate that your argument or position is well researched;
  • to allow readers to quickly and easily locate your sources;
  • because citing is part of academic integrity -- a way to ensure honesty.

Citation information: where to put it? 

Citing a source properly means that you provide citation information in two places:

  • In the text (brief information such as author and publication date), often referred to as 'in-text citation';
  • In a reference list entry at the end of your text, that provides full details about the source, so that everybody can track down the source. 

Citation / Referencing styles

In-text citations and reference list/bibliography formats - citation styles or referencing styles - are defined in style manuals. Style manuals are guidebooks that tell you how academic writing -- including citations --  is to be formatted. There are a substantial number of style manuals because each discipline has its own requirements. Be sure that you know which style is required before you complete your paper or thesis. 

Referencing styles styles used at Tilburg University

For information about the styles used at Tilburg University: refer to RefCite, our web tutorial on referencing and avoiding plagiarism.
See the box at the upper right hand side of this page. 

RefCite: tutorial on referencing & avoiding plagiarism

Tilburg University's web tutorial RefCite provides extensive information about:

  • quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing;
  • citing sources (examples are given in Harvard, APA, Chicago, and OSCOLA referencing styles);
  • what plagiarism is and how you can avoid it.

Tilburg University's concise APA guide

Most students at our university use APA style in their writing assignments. Since the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (the official APA style manual) is quite a lengthy and complex work, the library has compiled a concise pdf version.

Our APA guide includes 35 examples of common types of citations and reference examples in APA style. The guide is available in Dutch as well as in English.