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The University of Arizona

BCOM 214: Fundamentals of Business Communication (Fall 2018)

How to Cite

You need to cite sources in your papers to avoid plagiarism and allow readers to track down the source content. But how should you format the citations and bibliography?

There are several citation styles to choose from, and some are for specific subjects or publications. Check with your instructor or publisher for the preferred style.

Use the guides below to see citation rules and examples. Or collect your references in one of our citation management tools that formats citations for you. 

General citation guides

American Psychological Association guide (used in the social sciences) OWL APA guide (Purdue University) APA quick citation guide (Penn State University)  
Chicago guide (used in history and some social sciences) OWL Chicago guide (Purdue University) Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (requires NetID/password) Chicago Manual of Style Online, 17th ed. (requires NetID/password)
Modern Language Association guide (used in the humanities) OWL MLA guide (Purdue University)    

Manage Your Citations

RefWorks
 

This web-based citation manager program is available to UA faculty, staff, and students. 

You can:

  • Import citations from library databases
  • Create bibliographies in your chosen style or create a custom style
  • Download Write-n-Cite into Microsoft Word to access citations and create footnotes and a bibliography

Learn more by watching a video tutorial.

EndNote

UA staff, students, and faculty are eligible for a free EndNote Web account.

  • Import citations from databases
  • Create and organize bibliographies
  • Cite while you write

You can also purchase EndNote desktop software from the UA Bookstores (discounted price for UA community).

Learn more at EndNote Web Help and EndNote Web Tutorials.

Mendeley

This free reference manager helps you organize sources, collaborate with others, and discover the latest research. Software must be installed on a personal computer.

You can:

  • Manage references and citations
  • Search and discover content
  • Read and annotate articles
  • Upload PDFs and sync across devices
  • Create collaborative work groups
  • Join the UA Mendeley group to collaborate on campus

Zotero

A free tool to collect, manage, cite, and share sources. 

You can:

  • Download Zotero as a Firefox extension or standalone application
  • Use plug-ins for other web browsers, Word, and LibreOffice
  • Sync your Zotero library to view from any computer
  • Use portable Firefox with Zotero on a flash drive to use on any computer

Learn more with the Zotero Quick Start Guide.

Not sure which tool to use? See a comparison of reference management software. Still need help? Contact your librarian.

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

APA Annotated Bibliography Sample


Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

In this book of nonfiction based on the journalist's experiential research, Ehrenreich attempts to ascertain
whether it is currently possible for an individual to live on a minimum-wage in America. Taking jobs as a waitress, a maid in a cleaning service, and a Walmart sales employee, the author summarizes and reflects on her work, her relationships with fellow workers, and her financial struggles in each situation.
 
An experienced journalist, Ehrenreich is aware of the limitations of her experiment and the ethical implications of her experiential research tactics and reflects on these issues in the text. The author is forthcoming about her methods and supplements her experiences with scholarly research on her places of employment, the economy, and the rising cost of living in America. Ehrenreich’s project is timely, descriptive, and well-researched.

The annotation above both summarizes and assesses the book in the citation. The first paragraph provides a brief summary of the author's project in the book, covering the main points of the work. The second paragraph points out the project’s strengths and evaluates its methods and presentation. This particular annotation does not reflect on the source’s potential importance or usefulness for this person’s own research.

Source: Purdue Online Writing Lab

Literature Review

A literature review is a summary of the published work in a field of study. This can be a section of a larger paper or article, or can be the focus of an entire paper. Literature reviews show that you have examined the breadth of knowledge and can justify your thesis or research questions. They are also valuable tools for other researchers who need to find a summary of that field of knowledge.

Unlike an annotated bibliography, which is a list of sources with short descriptions, a literature review synthesizes sources into a summary that has a thesis or statement of purpose—stated or implied—at its core.


How do I write a literature review?

 

Step 1: Define your research scope

What is the specific research question that your literature review helps to define?

Are there a maximum or minimum number of sources that your review should include?

Step 2: Identify the literature

Start by searching broadly. Literature for your review will typically be acquired through scholarly books, journal articles, and/or dissertations. Develop an understanding of what is out there, what terms are accurate and helpful, etc., and keep track of all of it with citation management tools. If you need help figuring out key terms and where to search, ask us.

Use citation searching to track how scholars interact with, and build upon, previous research:

  • Mine the references cited section of each relevant source for additional key sources
  • Use Google Scholar or Scopus to find other sources that have cited a particular work

Step 3: Critically analyze the literature

Key to your literature review is a critical analysis of the literature collected around your topic. The analysis will explore relationships, major themes, and any critical gaps in the research expressed in the work. Read and summarize each source with an eye toward analyzing authority, currency, coverage, methodology, and relationship to other works. The University of Toronto's Writing Center provides a comprehensive list of questions you can use to analyze your sources.

Step 4: Categorize your resources

Divide the available resources that pertain to your research into categories reflecting their roles in addressing your research question. Possible ways to categorize resources include organization by:

  • chronology
  • theme
  • methodology
  • theoretical/philosophical approach

Regardless of the division, each category should be accompanied by thorough discussions and explanations of strengths and weaknesses, value to the overall survey, and comparisons with similar sources. You may have enough resources when:

  • You've used multiple databases and other resources (web portals, repositories, etc.) to get a variety of perspectives on the research topic.
  • The same citations are showing up in a variety of databases.

Additional Resources

Avoid Plagiarism

In college courses, you're continually engaged with other people's ideas. You might read them in texts, hear them in lectures, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into your own writing. It's important that you give credit where credit is due.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using other people's ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information. It can be intentional, but you might do it without even realizing it.

There can be serious consequences for plagiarizing, from getting a zero on a paper to a full-blown lawsuit. But, don't worry! We'll help you learn what needs to be cited and how to avoid plagiarism.

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you:

  • use another person's idea, opinion, or thought.
  • use any information that isn't common knowledge.
  • quote or paraphrase another person's actual spoken or written words.

Quoting

Quoting is copying the exact words from a source. This is fine as long as you place quotations around the passage you're quoting and properly cite the source.

Be sure to:

  • put quotation marks around everything that comes directly from the text, especially when taking notes.
  • cite the source.

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is restating a passage from a source in your own words. Being able to recognize the differences between acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing will help you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

Be sure to:

  • not just rearrange or replace a few words.
  • read over what you want to paraphrase carefully. You could cover up the text with your hand or close the text so you can't see any of it. Then, write out the idea in your own words without peeking.
  • compare your paraphrase to the original text to be sure you haven't accidentally used the same phrases or words and confirm that the information is accurate.

Citing

Whether you're paraphrasing, summarizing, or quoting, you need to cite your sources whenever you use any research, words, or ideas that aren't your own. The only things you don't need to cite are information that's considered common knowledge and your own original research, words, or ideas.

Also, make a bibliography at the end of your paper that lists all the sources you used.

That's it!


Practice

Accidental Plagiarism tutorial
Learn how to avoid accidental plagiarism through this interactive tutorial. You'll learn how accidental plagiarism can occur and how to prevent it through the correct use of paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting of sources. A brief quiz is included.


More help

Think Tank Writing Center
Go to the Writing Center at the Think Tank to get help with your papers and writing.

Writing Skills Improvement Program
Register for this program to schedule tutoring sessions and improve your writing skills.

University of Arizona Libraries Avoiding Plagiarism
More examples and resources are available through the UA Libraries website