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Citation Help

Why We Cite: The Purpose of Citation

When a professor asks you to "cite your sources", what's the point? 

Well, citations serve three major roles in scholarly work:

  1. They allow you to show how your argument is built upon the ideas of others.
  2. They allow you to indicate which ideas are taken from others, and from whom those ideas were taken; in other words, to give credit where it's due.
  3. They allow the interested reader to follow your argument and confirm its logic by investigating the ideas on which the argument is built, or to further explore those ideas on their own.

In each case, it's important that you acknowledge the ways in which others' ideas contributed to your own. Otherwise, you run the risk of plagiarism.
If you incorporate or refer to others' theories, words, ideas or concepts in your paper, you must document each one using a citation.

Hard Copy - Style Guides in ReadyRef

RefWorks: Online Bibliographic Managment

RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic software package that enables you to:

  • Organize and share your research
  • Import references directly from many data sources (databases, online catalogs, websites)
  • Instantly generate your bibliography in a variety of citation styles, (including APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian)
  • Include citations (parenthetical references or footnotes) while you write your paper

RefWorks is web-based, so there is no software to download and update. You can access your RefWorks account from any computer connected to the internet. It's free for all Saint Peter's students, faculty and staff.

New users must create an account and establish a username and password to start using RefWorks.

1. Visit

2. Enter your Saint Peter's University email address as username and choose your preferred password to sign up.

3. Check your Saint Peter's University email for an "Account Activation" email from RefWorks. Click the activation link inside to activate your account.

For more information about using RefWorks, please check the video tutorial on the left or the User Guide on New RefWorks by ProQuest.

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