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FSCI 198 Climate Crisis and Climate Actions

Why and When to Cite

It's important to cite your sources for a variety of reasons. Citing your sources:

  • Gives your work credibility by showing you've done your research
  • Gives credit to the authors/creators of the sources you used
  • Allows readers to go back to the original source
  • Ensures you won't be accused of plagiarism!

Now you know why it's important to cite, check out the flow chart below for information on when to cite.

Should I Cite?



APA Citation Style

Citations describe information resources (ex. journal articles, books, web pages, etc.) in a standard format. Citations styles differ in how they present information, but they all include the following basic elements: the title of the resource, who wrote it (author and/or editor), when it was published, where and by whom it was published (journal name, city, host of web page, etc.).

The McGill Library Citation Guide has loads of additional information including choosing a style based on your subject, information about citation managemenet software including EndNote and Zotero, and an FAQ on Citing and Referencing.

Below are some basic examples of citations in APA 7 style for different types of resources. The APA official site has a much more extensive list of examples.

Journal Article

Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(3), 207–217.


Newspaper Article

Carey, B. (2019, March 22). Can we get better at forgetting? The New York Times.


Podcast Episode

Hannah-Jones, N. (Host). (2019, September 13). How the bad blood started (No. 4) [Audio podcast episode]. In 1619. The New York Times.


PowerPoint Slide from Class Website

Mack, R., & Spake, G. (2018). Citing open source images and formatting references for presentations [PowerPoint slides]. Canvas@FNU.


Report by Government Agency, NGO, etc.

National Cancer Institute. (2019). Taking time: Support for people with cancer (NIH Publication No. 18-2059). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.


Wikipedia Entry

Oil painting. (2019, December 8). In Wikipedia.


Citing Information from Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions of Indigenous Peoples
  • If the information has been recorded and is recoverable by readers, cite it in the text and include a reference list entry in the correct format for that type of source. It's important to maintain the integrity of Indigenous perspectives. 
  • For Traditional Knowledge or Oral Traditions that are not recorded, provide as much detail in the in-text citation as is necessary to describe the content and to contextualize the origin of the information and use a variation of the personal communication citation. Capitalize most terms related to Indigenous Peoples. Because there is no recoverable source, a reference list entry is not used.

ex. We spoke with Anna Grant (Haida Nation, lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, personal communication, April 2019) about traditional understandings of the world by First Nations Peoples in Canada. She described . . .


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