Guide to Library Research
Mary Livermore Library
Unit 6: Citing Resources

In general, each time you borrow something other than a fact from a source, you need to do the following:

1. Identify the source with an attributive phrase. In this phrase, you will provide the author's first and last names, along with the name of the publication in which the material appears. After you have identified the author and publication once, you may use just the author's last name in future attributive phrases. See the examples of attributive phrases below. (Some professors and disciplines may not require attributive phrases, but they often are useful tools in some forms of writing.)

2. Present the borrowed material. There are four ways to incorporate source material into a paragraph:

  • Full Quotation: When reading a source, you may come across one or more complete sentences that are striking because of the way they are expressed; perhaps, for example, the author has used some colorful or poetic language. In such a case, you should consider using a full quotation, which is the use of one or more complete sentences from a source. You must place a full quotation within quotation marks. Do not change any of the words. Below is an example, in which colors indicate these various components. Pay close attention to the placement of punctuation marks, such as the period at the end of the sentence. In particular, note that a comma appears between the verb in the attributive phrase and the quotation itself. Note that words that appear in double quotation marks in the source should appear in single quotation marks in your quotation. If you omit any words from the original sentence, use ellipses in place of the words you have omitted. If you need to add any words for the sake of clarification, place these words inside brackets.

  • See the example of a Full Quotation Hide example

    Original: In short, between the time Mackenzie's book arrived at Monticello and December 1802, Jefferson gave Lewis a college undergraduate's introduction to the liberal arts, North American geography, botany, mineralogy, astronomy, and ethnology.

    Full Quotation: In Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose explains: "In short, between the time [Alexander] Mackenzie's book arrived at Monticello and December 1802, Jefferson gave Lewis a college undergraduate's introduction to the liberal arts, North American geography,...mineralogy, astronomy, and ethnology" (77).

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