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Criminal Justice & Criminology Resources

Why Cite Your Sources?


Citing your sources will give credit to the original author or producer of the information you are quoting and paraphrasing. Giving recognition is important in every context.

Traceability of your claims

Citing the right way makes it possible for those who read your work to trace the information you used to produce it. It gives you credibility and improves your ability to contribute your voice to scholarly discussions.

Avoiding plagiarism

Citing will allow you to avoid unintentional plagiarism. Read the Student Handbook's policy on academic dishonesty to see what constitutes plagiarism.

The Basics

Conforming to citation styles can seem daunting, but it becomes simpler if you remember to look for the basics:

  • Who: author or creator
  • When: date of creation/publication
  • What: title, chapter title
  • Where: publisher, website, identifier (URL, DOI)

Remember that this information can look different depending on your source's type (video, book, article, tweet, etc.).

Citation Style

The Criminal Justice & Criminology Department recommends using APA (American Psychological Association). If you are not sure which style to use, you can ask your professor which one they recommend. For more information on all citation styles used at Lycoming College, visit our Citation Station Online homepage.

Using a Citation Manager

What are citation managers?

Citation managers are tools that help you collect, organize, and cite your sources. They can also be used for team research projects to share citations and organize them in a single place. Remember that those tools are helpful, but not perfect. Check the citations they generate for mistakes!

Which one should I use?

You can use any citation manager you are comfortable with, like Zotero, EndNote, or Mendeley. We recommend Zotero: you can create a free account, download Zotero and install an MS Word add-in and a browser connector. Contact a Librarian or use the quick guide below to get started (credits: Jason Puckett at Georgia State University Library).

Just need a quick bibliography?

ZoteroBib will quickly generate a citation or bibliography. Choose your citation style and paste in a DOI, Title, or another identifier to create your bibliography.