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researchHOW - Information Literacy Toolbox: Citations & Academic Integrity

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Credo InfoLit: Citations and Academic Integrity


Citations and Academic Integrity

This module covers the importance of academic integrity and the basics of citing sources in different styles.

 Find learning objectives, standards addressed, discussion topics, & activity ideas here


  1. Introduction
  2. Video: Why Citations Matter
  3. Tutorial: Why Citations Matter
  4. Video: APA Citations
  5. Tutorial: APA Citations
  6. Quiz: APA Citations
  7. Video: MLA Citations
  8. Tutorial: MLA Citations
  9. Quiz: MLA Citations
  10. Video: Turabian Citations
  11. Quiz: Turabian Citations
  12. Video: Harvard Citation Style
  13. Video: Chicago Style Book Citations
  14. Video: Chicago Style Journal & Website Citations
  15. Video: Academic Integrity
  16. Video: What is Plagiarism? Video: Copyright
  17. Quiz: Academic Integrity
  18. Instructor Guide 
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Concerns, procedures and sanctions about academic honesty are articulated in the FIU Code of Academic Integrity which was adopted by the Student Government Association on November 28, 2001. The following Pledge from the FIU Student Handbook specifically discourages plagiarism:

As a student of this university:

  1. I will be honest in my academic endeavors.
  2. I will not represent someone else's work as my own.
  3. I will not cheat, or will I aid in another's cheating.


 Use of the World Wide Web as a research resource has exacerbated the problem of plagiarism in colleges and universities worldwide.

The links to tutorials and websites in this guide will provide information and techniques for the prevention of plagiarism.

cite from the catalog!

Did you know?
You can generate citations automatically for items that you find in the FIU Library catalog!  Simply click on the pencil icon  to generate a citation in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, or Turabian!


Citing primary sources is like citing any other source:

  • Find out what style your professor wants you to use, or choose a style most commonly used by your discipline.
  • Examine the material to determine what format it is:  audiovisual, electronic, print, etc.
  • Determine whether the item is published or unpublished, part of a collection or an individual item.
  • Look it up in the style manual .

using images responsibly

Remember to check your images, wherever you find them, for permissions and limitations of use.  Always check for copyright information and be sure to cite your sources as best you can!


Part of using images properly, is writing strongly and clearly about them in your work.  Use the resources below for guidelines in writing clearly using images as well as links on fair use and using images responsibly.

Annotated Bibliographies

Annotated bibliographies are lists of resources that include an evaluative summary of each resource.  More than just a summary of the article, annotated bibliographies give you a chance to critique the resources you're finding.  They can also help you determine whether your research question is viable.  Take a look at some of the resourcs on this page to help you write a strong annotated bibliography!

When writing an annotated bibliography, it's helpful to ask yourself these 3 questions for each source:

1. What is this book/journal article/etc really about?  Summarize the main points.  Remember that an annotated bibliography is more than just a summary, however.

2.  How does this resource relate to the other sources in my bibliography?  Is it biased?  Is it basic or advanced?  Who are the authors and how do they compare with the other authors?  Critically analyze your resource and compare it to other resources in your annotated bibliography.

3. How does this resource help or hurt my research?  What is the unique information?  How does this uphold or change your research focus? Should you include it in your paper?  Why or why not?

The point of an annotated bibliography is to tell the story of your research and your thinking process so that when you sit down to write the paper, you have a strong foundation of thought and information.


citation generators

Many of the library databases have a tool/link called Cite or Cite This. 
Click it for options and help with citing your source!  Copy and paste the citation into your Works Cited page.  Remember the citation is computer generated so always double-check for mistakes.

Below are links to some popular online citation generators.  For the purposes of creating a quick, one-time citation in the correct style, check these websites out!


Looking for more in-depth citation help?  Visit our citation guides for help and info on specific styles and document types and citation generator comparisons.    



Database Cite Function: how-to.

General Citations & Formatting

I have all of my sources, and I'm ready to write my paper. What else do I need to do?

Using proper citation style allows us to give credit to the creators of the material we are using.  It is how we use information responsibly and respectfully.  By using citations, our claims and theories become more authorized and credible because we are providing supporting evidence from other sources.  Citations also allow us to be honest about our contributions and avoid plagiarism.  

Have you cited all of your resources? As soon as you’re ready to start writing, you’re going to need to be prepared to track and cite your sources correctly. Giving others credit for their words and ideas is not only good academic practice, it is critical to fulfilling the requirements of the University's Standards of Student Conduct.

Your professor may want you go use a certain citation style manual or guide. Be sure you know which citation format (MLA, APA, etc.) they require. These will tell you how to cite your sources. The library has paper copies of all style guides at the information/research and reserve desks, and help sites are available online. Contact us if you need help tracking-down sources for complete citations.

Luckily, if you’re using a citation generator or manager tool like RefWorks or Zotero, this stage will be simple: the software does the work for you!

APA (American Psychological Association) style is generally used in the social sciences.  As the publishing standard, APA style also provides guidelines for paper formatting.

MLA style is generally used by subject areas in the humanities.  Overall, it is simpler than other styles, featuring parenthetical citations and an alphabetized list of references at the end.  Entries for the list of works cited must be aphabetical and double-spaced, with the indent of the subsequent line one-half inch from the left margin.

Chicago style is perhaps one of the more complex citation styles because it is really two systems under one name.  The Notes/Bibliography system is used mainly in the humanities.  The Author/Date style is typically used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences.  The main difference between the two systems the preference for notes (Notes/Bibliography) or parenthetical in-text citations (Author/Date) within the document.  For more specific information on the Chicago style, please refer to chapters 14-15 of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Turabian is based on the Chicago Manual of Style by Kate Turabian.  The two styles are so similar, they are often grouped together.  The main difference between the two styles, besides minor puncuation rules, is that Turabian has been adapted to suit the needs of students whereas Chicago focuses more on publication.  For more specific information on Turabian style, please refer to the manual in the FIU Libraries.

Scientific Style and Format presents three systems for referring to references (also known as citations) within the text of a journal article, book, or other scientific publication: 1) citation–sequence; 2) name–year; and 3) citation–name. These abbreviated references are called in-text references. They refer to a list of references at the end of the document.

The system of in-text references that you use will determine the order of references at the end of your document. These end references have essentially the same format in all three systems, except for the placement of the date of publication in the name–year system.

Though Scientific Style and Format now uses citation–sequence for its own references, each system is widely used in scientific publishing. Consult your publisher to determine which system you will need to follow.