Communication Studies

This is a guide for students doing research in Communication Studies

Library Research Guide

Citing Materials

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 to provide appropriate credit for the ideas of other researchers to avoid plagiarism. 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.

Different citation formats (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago Style) put elements of the citation in different orders. Your instructor may specify the format to use, or you may be writing for a publication that requires a particular format. If you aren't required to use a specific one, just be consistent.

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:

button produces citation in select formats

You might want to consider using a bibliographic management tool. It will save you time in writing your bibliographies, but be sure to proofread - it isn't perfect! Zotero is a good (free) citation management option.  Zotero has a quick start guide, and you can find many Zotero tutorials online. One benefit of using a citation manager is that you can change citation formats easily.

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a good resource for more information about APA and other citation formats. APA provides lots of video tutorials on using its style. The APA Style Blog (an official publication of APA) answers questions about tricky citation issues. 

Find more citation tools on our Citations and Bibliographies LibGuide.