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POLS-262: International Political Economy

A library course guide that aims to support students enrolled in Pols-262 by providing a curated selection of resources relevant to the course content.

Citing Your Sources

From the moment you begin to conduct research you will want to pay particular attention to the sources you find. Even the most proficient searcher has had, at one point or another, a moment where they wish they could remember where they saw that one article. Developing a strategy to keep track of what you will potentially use is highly recommended from the outset.

Academic writing, whether theses, assignments, reports or scholarly articles, often involves summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting sources of information that need to be cited. Knowing how to cite another person's work properly helps you to:

  • give credit and acknowledge their ideas
  • direct readers to the sources on which your research is based
  • avoid plagiarism

it documents what sources you have used in writing your paper and gives credit to an author's work that you have used. It also gives information to identify and retrieve the cited sources. Here are a few recommended tools to help format your papers depending on which citation style you choose. (One of my favorite resources for Chicago, APA and MLA style tips is the Online Writing Lab ('OWL') at Purdue University.)


Many of the electronic databases you will be using (including Omni) offer you the option to download, print or email the citations of the material you find. This is a great way to keep track of the information you're considering. There are also tools called "citation managers" e.g. Zotero and Mendeley, that are free -- to an extent -- and facilitate compiling and sorting citations as well as generate bibliographies. For an excellent overview of citation managers, visit QUL's Citation Managers guide,



Plagiarism is a serious offense. Citing your sources is one way to avoid plagiarism. To test your knowledge of plagiarism and how to avoid it, try this interactive tutorial created by Vaughan Memorial Library, Acadia University:

You Quote It, You Note It!

Student Academic Success Services at Queen's has a useful handout to guide you through the writing process and avoid plagiarism.