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Studies in Religion: Cite Your Sources

Why Cite Your Sources? Why Citations Matter!

In scholarly writing, we are continually engaged with other people’s ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lecture, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own writing. Acknowledging those authors' ideas and showing where your found them is an important element of scholarly writing.

Cite your sources to:

  • make your arguments more credible
  • show you've done your homework (i.e. your research)
  • build a foundation for your argument
  • allow your readers to find the sources for themselves

Plagiarism is using others’ ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.

To avoid plagiarism you must give credit whenever you use:     

  • another person’s idea, opinion, or theory    
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings—any pieces of information—that are not common knowledge;    
  • quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or    
  • paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.

You can find citations formatted in MLA, APA, Chicago, or other styles in some of the databases you use to look for articles!

Look for a Cite or Citation feature in the databases you use to look for articles!

In an EBSCO database, the Cite feature tab can be found by clicking on the article's title, then looking to the toolbar on the right-hand side of the screen: 


In a ProQuest database, the Cite feature tab is located in the top header above your search results:


To get a pre-formatted citation in a ProQuest database, check the box next to the article you want cited, and click the Cite tab.

Some databases will only display one style, with the option to choose other styles, and other databases will display multiple styles.

Remember, you must still proofread any pre-formatted citations. To do so, use one of the freely available online resources, found here Research & Documentation Online by Diana Hacker and here Resources from the OWL at Purdue.

Create an account: Proquest RefWorks.

Proquest RefWorks is a subscription online tools that allow you to:

  • Create bibliographies in almost any style
  • Format your bibliography and in-text citations while you write
  • Build your own database of citations
  • Import citations directly from library databases
  • Access your citations from any computer

Note: Legacy RefWorks may request Brooklyn College's Group Code: RWBrooklynC.

Alumni: Brooklyn College alumni who would like a Proquest RefWorks account should contact Prof. Lee Ann Fullington.


Learn to Use Proquest RefWorks taking a tutorial webinar. Help for Legacy RefWorks