COMM 111 Vinelli: Citing Your Sources

Why Cite?

We cite to:

  • Avoid plagiarism – give credit where credit is due
  • Allow our reader to follow up on points that interest them
  • Give our writing more credibility
  • Help our reader see how we came to our conclusions

When Should You Cite?

Academic research requires that you give credit for others’ work.  You should identify and give credit to the work of others when you:

  • Use a direct quote
  • Make a claim that might be challenged/questioned
  • Paraphrase of the ideas of another person
  • Offer an expert opinion

It is not necessary to give credit for commonly known facts or expressions.

APA Citations

Proper citations have to be written according the rules of a citation format. For this course, you will be using APA citation style.


  • Sources cited are only those sources you actually refer to in your speech.  You will likely consult many more sources than you cite in your speech.
  • Email articles you’re interested in to yourself from the databases;  depending on the database the email will include a citation APA format or will at least include all of the information you will need to create your citation.
  • The Purdue OWL APA site is very useful for help creating citations.
  • PCC librarians have also created a handout of sample citations in APA style here.