This is the "Citing Your Sources" page of the "AU Library's Guide to the Research Process" guide.
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This guide will help you learn about the research process.
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Citing Your Sources Print Page

Cite Your Sources

The final step in the research process is to acknowledge all the sources that you have used in the composition of your research paper. The failure to do so is known as plagiarism. Plagiarism is considered academic misconduct at AU, which can result in various degrees of punishment. The easiest way to protect yourself against a charge of plagiarism is to document and cite every source that you use in your research paper. For more information on plagiarism, please see AU's Academic Misconduct Policy.

In order to create a proper citation, you will need to note the following pieces of information for every work that you use in your paper:


  • the author(s)

  • the title

  • the place of publication (city),

  • the name of the publisher, and

  • the date of publication


  • author(s) of the article

  • the title of the article

  • the name of the periodical

  • the volume & issue number

  • the month, season, date and year(e.g. May 1999 or Spring 1999 or October 24, 1999)

  • the page numbers

There are many different citation styles that can be used to cite your sources. The two most widely used citation styles at AU are the MLA style and the APA style. Check with your instructor as to which style you should use. AU Library has many different resources and style guides available to help you cite your sources. Take a look at the Bibliography found at the end of this guide for more information, or consult the Help Centre's Citing & Referencing page for a few basic examples of citations in the MLA and APA styles.


What is a citation?

A citation provides the information you need to locate an item, whether it is a book, journal article or other publication. Here are some tips to help you determine the difference between a book citation and a journal article citation:

Book citations typically include the author's name, name of the book, place of publication, publisher's name and date. For example:

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 1993.

Journal article citations
are comprised of the author's name, title of the journal article, name of the journal the article was published in, volume, issue, publication date, and page numbers. For example:

Tester, Frank James. Can the Sled Dog Sleep? Postcolonialism, Cultural Transformation and the Consumption of Inuit Culture. New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry, 2010, 3(3), 7-19.

Please note:

The way that citations are presented in a bibliography will vary depending on the citation style that is being used. For more information on citation styles, please view the Citing & Referencing page on the Library's Website or talk with your course professor about the style you should use.

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