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Graduate Studies in Leadership Communication

A research guide for students pursuing their PhD in Leadership Communication

Library Research Guide


Keep track of the sources you use for your research so you can cite them in your work. You will create a citation whenever you use the words (direct quote) or ideas (paraphrase) from another author. It is important to cite for several reasons:

  • It provides evidence for the argument you are developing in your work. 
  • Scholarship is a conversation where ideas are developed through discussion and assessment. Citing your sources allows others to see where you are joining the conversation. 
  • The original researcher who did the work deserves credit (just like you would want someone to give you credit if they used your work). Using work without credit is plagiarism and may be a violation of copyright law. This is also a part of the K-State Honor Code.

You will usually use APA format to cite the articles you find unless your professor has given you different instructions or you are writing for a publication that uses a different style.

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. This can be a helpful starting point, but you always need to check it for accuracy. 



Citation Management and Bibliographies

I highly recommend using a bibliographic management tool. It will save you lots of 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. 

Note: As of Fall 2019, K-State cancelled its subscription to RefWorks.

Find more citation tools on our Citations and Bibliographies research guide.

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