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MC 396 - Strategic Communication Research

A course guide for students doing research for MC 396


Keep track of the sources you use for your research so you can cite them in your paper and bibliography. It is very important to cite your sources for three reasons:

1. To avoid plagiarism

2. To provide credit for the ideas of other researchers

3. So others reading your work can find and refer back to the sources you used

You will create a citation whenever you use the words (direct quote) or ideas (paraphrase) from another author. Failing to do so is a violation of the K-State Honor Code.

You will use APA format to cite the materials you find. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a great source for information about APA and other formats.

Many databases have a "cite" link on the records that will help you create a citation in the appropriate format, like this one in Communication and Mass Media Complete:

Example of citation from ERIC

Find more citation tools on our Citations and Bibliographies LibGuide.


You might want to consider using a bibliographic management tool to help you collect your citations and write your bibliography. RefWorks is the one that is provided and supported by K-State. It will save you lots of time in writing your bibliographies, but be sure to proofread - it isn't perfect! Once you have logged into RefWorks there are great tutorials under its "help" tab, and more information and tips on the RefWorks tab of the Citations and Bibliographies LibGuide.