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Research Help for History Students: Citations

This guide has been designed to help history students with research.

Why cite?

Ahh, citations.  They are CRUCIAL to any paper but they can also cause quite a headache.  Each discipline uses a different style for citation.  Historical papers use Chicago style, which is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, which is different from MLA or APA, used in many other disciplines.  This page has been designed to help you identify when you need to cite and also how to create those citations.  We are also lucky to have access to online citation guides.  Of course, if you are struggling with citations please do not hesitate to reach out to me (Taylor) at, (860)768-4142, or come visit me in the Reference Office located on the main level of Mortensen Library.

Why should I cite?

  • Not citing is unethical and academically dishonest:  plagiarism (using someone else's work and passing it off as your own) is a serious offense at all academic institutions.
  • Citations give credit to the original authors of the information you are using in your paper.
  • Citations allow other scholars who may read your paper find the source you are pulling from if interested.
  • Overall, they give your paper credibility, and show that you did your research well.

When should I cite?

You should provide a citation (in Chicago Manual of Style this would be a footnote) any time you:

Quote - Pulling a sentence or phrases directly from a document and put them in your paper (within quotation marks!).

Paraphrase Restating an idea from the original source in your own words.

Summarize Taking the main ideas from the original source and put them in your own words.

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