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If you're trying to determine what source to choose or what you should cite, read on for FAQs and helpful answers.
If you can classify your source as something other than a website/web page, choose that as your source. Be as specific as possible. Most times, the source citation form will give you the option to cite the source as something found online (see tabs at the top of the citation form).
In research, a journal is a scholarly or academic periodical featuring articles written by experts. These articles are reviewed by fellow experts (peer-reviewed) before being published.
An online database is an electronic collection of information. They are searchable and most databases found at your library provide credible, published content. Depending on the database, it might also let you access information in various formats (e.g., journals, videos, books, newspapers, etc.).
This means an online database could have several journals.
Scroll through our long list of source options and make your best educated guess. If you're still unsure, choose "Miscellaneous."
Yes! It's always better to cite a source, even if you're unsure of all the source details. Also, not everything has an indicated author so it's ok to leave an author out in those cases. When this happens, most citation styles will list the source by its title instead of the author's last name.
A well-balanced paper usually cites several sources; often in different formats (e.g., books, journals, interviews, etc.). There isn't an exact number of sources that is ideal, but try to have more than a couple sources listed.
Also, you should cite everything you've consulted or mentioned in your paper. It's the ethical thing to do.
Yes, absolutely! Showing where you got certain ideas or points in your paper will help support any arguments you make. Including in-text citations is also ethical — give credit where it is due.
Common knowledge is general information that you can assume a normal individual would know without needing to consult a source. Yes, you do not necessarily need to cite common knowledge. However, if you are unsure if you should cite a fact or source, err on the side of caution and cite it.