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FESNS First Year Survival Guide

What is a Citation?

A citation is like a code: it identifies an idea that the writer has gotten from someone else.

A citation is made up of several key components: author, date, title of the article/book chapter, where the work appears, and page number(s). Essentially, it should contain all the information a reader would need to locate that resource themselves.

The format of a given citation will be dictated by the type of resource it is.

Why is Citation Important?

Citing your sources is extremely important. Not only does it give credibility to your work (and shows off all the hard work you did!) but it's also necessary to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is the use or imitation of language and/or ideas of another person without giving credit and passing them off as your own. Plagiarism is a serious offense which can get put on your record and get you kicked out of Ontario Tech. To learn more, you can visit the Ontario Tech academic integrity website.

Plagiarism takes various forms, many of which are unintentional. Watch the video below to get a better idea of things to avoid while writing your reports and papers.

How Do I Cite?

Good question! And the answer to it is that it depends.

The format of your citations will vary depending on:

  • the work that you're citing
  • the citation style (ex. IEEE, ASME, APA) that you're using
  • the citation style that your professor prefers you use

The Library has created the Ontario Tech Guide to IEEE Citation Style and a general Engineering and Energy Citation Guide to help you navigate the world of citation. IEEE tends to be the most common citation style used in Engineering courses.

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