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Callahan Library (LI Campus), McEntegart Library (Brooklyn Campus), SJC Online

Research Guides: Callahan

Why Cite


Plagiarism is defined as the act of copying, stealing, or representing the ideas or words of another as one's own, without giving credit to the source.

To avoid committing plagiarism, cite all of your sources properly according to the rules of the specific citation styles your professors require.  Three of the most commonly used citation styles are:

  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago


Why You Should Cite Your Sources:


  • To give credit where credit is due
  • To give credibility to your research
  • To enable your readers (professors and peers) to retrace your research steps
  • To practice academic honesty and integrity 


What Needs to be Cited?

Direct Quotes
Ideas not your own (Paraphrasing an idea)



Do You Need to Cite Everything?

No.  If something is common knowledge (it can be found in many different sources and is a well known fact) it does not need to be cited.  The following are common examples of common knowledge:

  • Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
  • George Washington was the first President of the United States

Citation Resource Websites:

Purdue OWL Quick Reference Posters

  • APA Quick Reference
    Quick reference poster with basic APA guidelines. The Purdue OWL APA Classroom Poster was developed by Kate Bouwens for the Purdue Professional Writing - Purdue OWL Internship class, English 490, in spring 2009.
  • MLA Quick Reference
    Quick reference poster with basic MLS guidelines. The Purdue OWL MLA Classroom Poster was developed by Kate Bouwens for the Purdue Professional Writing - Purdue OWL Internship class, English 490, in spring 2009.
  • Chicago Quick Reference
    Quick reference poster with basic CMS guidelines. The Purdue OWL CMS NB Classroom Poster was developed by Megan Lancaster for the Purdue Professional Writing - Editing and Publishing class, English 515, in spring 2011.

Library Tutorials

Additional Tutorials

  • Basics of APA
    From the American Psychological Association
  • MLA Tutorial
    Teaches the importance of documenting sources as well as the fundamentals of using the MLA documentation style. This tutorial has been developed collaboratively by the Hunter College Writing Across the Curriculum Program, Library, and Office of Instructional Computing and Information Technology.

What is permalink?

A permalink is a static or permanent web address (URL) which points to a specific item such as an article or e-book.

Why use permalinks?

If you copy a URL directly from the browser address bar it usually contains more information than the direct link to the specific item. Some databases also use URLs that change for each new search session even if you are looking up the same information.

Will the permalinks work off campus?

Subscription database links will not work off campus without authentication from a proxy server. If the permalinks do not include the campus proxy URL, students will not be able to access the material from off campus. Some databases will add the proxy URL automatically, and some will not.

What is a proxy server?

The proxy server allows you to connect to SJC Libraries e-resources from off campus by redirecting each request through a computer on campus.

What is the library's proxy server address?

The proxy server address should be placed in front of the permalink address for library resources that require authentication. Some databases such as EBSCO, Gale, and ProQuest may already include the proxy server address.

Where do I find permalinks?

Most databases will have a permalink somewhere in the record, but each database may post them in different ways and places. Sometimes they are called permalinks, sometimes they are called persistent URLs.

Research Guides: McEntegart

Library Tutorials

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