Citing Sources

EndNote Software Resources

"Giving Credit Where Credit is Due"

Style Manuals & Guides

The following list includes links to the full online version of the Chicago Manual of Style and several brief summary charts of a few other popular style guides that were produced by Northwestern University.  The full paper versions of these guides and many more are, of course, held in the stacks.  Please ask a librarian if you require assistance.

Some guides emphasize use of footnotes, others "in text citations" and still others "end notes".  Please follow the advice of your particular guide and be consistent within your paper.

When do you need a footnote, in text citation or endnote?

When you....

  • Quote directly from another's work
  • Use a graphic, chart or image (or part of one)  that you did not create from scratch.
  • Paraphrase something written by another. Simply putting it in your own words does not do the trick. You still need to cite it!
  • Give credit for a unique idea that advances a field of scholarship and isn't part of the usual "general body of knowledge" about a topic.
  • Point the reader to relevant literature and academic discussions that are taking place in the literature about your topic.

What is a content note?

A content note is a note that expands on a discussion that occurs in the body of your text.  Typical things found in "content" notes are:

  • Tangential information that is still important for the reader to know.
  • A note that describes opinions that differ from those presented in the paper and information on where the other opinions can be found.
  • A listing of a number of other authors and works that aren't treated in the body of the text, but which you are advising the reader to explore. 
  • Notes on different translations, editions of sources
  • If a foreign language, or specific passage of an original source is being discussed in the main body of the text and it is likely unfamiliar to readers, one can place the original language text in a note for easy reference by the reader.

Copying, scanning, graphic images, video, & music

All of these items are protected by copyright and performance rights.  In academic settings, they are governed by rules of "fair use" to allow individual research.   Copying an entire book, for instance, is NOT fair use.   Unless you have written to the copyright owner for permission, the United Library recommends the following rules of thumb to stay roughly within the fair use boundaries.  Each individual is liable for their own copying.

  • Never copy more than 1 chapter of a book or 10% of the book.
  • Limit media clips for class to no longer than 3 minutes (and then not the "heart of the movie" -- i.e., not the punch line, the climax, the surprise ending).
  • Music should not be performed or used in churches nor videos shown unless the individual church has the appropriate licenses or obtained performance rights.  The library musical scores, CDs, and videos are for personal and classroom use only.  DVD's may be checked out for private "in home use." 
  • Charts, graphs, and artwork -- crop to no more than 10% of the whole, if possible and note that what is reproduced is just a small portion of the original in the citation.  Or write for permission to reproduce the whole item in your paper.  Even the cropped piece should have citation information.  
  • Copies of any work should not be distributed to classmates.
  • Do not keep or use downloaded copies of course reserves beyond the duration of the class.  They are for "in class" use only during the course.

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty (Summary)

With regard to academic writing in many Western countries, the person who writes a book, composes a song, or creates a piece of art owns the item and its words or musical notation.  Thus he or she may determine who may copy or reproduce it.  This is called copyright.  To remind folk about copyright, the symbol "©" is often added to works.  But the author, artist, or songwriter is permitted to take legal action against those who reproduce the work even if the little symbol isn't present. 

In the academic world using another person's work without giving credit or copying more than 10% of an entire work, or passing off another person's ideas as one's own is considered unethical behavior.  To be blunt, it is a form not of flattery as in some cultures or even at some points in Western history, but of theft and a very serious matter.

Other ethical considerations:

At all times also completely avoid the following behaviors as they are dishonest:

  • Copying from another classmate's paper or exam.
  • Copying or purchasing a full paper, essay, play etc and submitting it as if you had written it.
  • Making copy machine copies of entire library books or textbooks since this violates copyright.
  • Hiding, intentionally mis-shelving, or stealing library materials to keep others from having access to the materials.
  • Keeping library materials past their deadlines to prevent others from checking them out.

If you have questions about academic honesty, please ask the library staff for assistance. 

Seek to be honest and ethical in how you represent ideas, words and images!