USF Tampa Libraries

When Should I Cite a Source?

 As part of this module, you will also view three (very short) video tutorials about plagiarism and how to avoid it. Knowing the rules of what to cite and what you do not need to cite will give you confidence as you write papers with sources. Citing your sources tells your readers where you found the information, who the authorities are you are citing, and what resources support your arguments and your own conclusions for your research. For help with citation formats (APA, MLA, etc.) see the library guide on citing sources. If you have any questions feel free to consult with your librarian!


By the end of this short module you will be able to:

  • Identify some basic rules about when to cite your sources
  • Identify examples of "common knowledge"
  • Be able to describe the difference between paraphrasing, summarizing, and direct quotations when citing sources.