You should provide a reference or citation whenever you introduce a new concept, explanation, fact, or statistic from another source. By doing so, you give credit to the original source and provide evidence that you have carried out your own research. If you are not certain about a particular source, be sure to ask your professor.
You do not have to cite facts, events, dates and concepts that are considered to be common knowledge.
Common knowledge can vary across cultures, academic disciplines, or peer groups. Since common knowledge in one subject area may not be considered common knowledge in another, it is important to consider these questions when deciding if something should be cited:
If you have doubts about what may or may not be considered common knowledge in your discipline, be sure to speak with your professor.Adapted from Academic Integrity at MIT, "What is Common Knowledge?" and Yale Centre for Teaching and Learning, "Common Knowledge."
Remember that common knowledge in one subject area may not be considered common knowledge in another. When in doubt, the safest thing to do is to cite your source.
(probably don't need to cite in your discipline)
(always need to cite, no matter what discipline)
|King Henry VIII of England had six wives.||
Jane Seymour, the 3rd wife of Henry VIII, was also his 5th cousin (Beer 2004).
Beer, Barrett L. 2004. "Jane [née Jane Seymour]." In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by David Cannadine. New York: Oxford University Press. http://0-www.oxforddnb.com.mercury.concordia.ca/
|Van Gogh was a Dutch painter.||
When he was 16, Van Gogh became an apprentice at the Hague branch of Goupil & Co., an art dealer firm where his uncle was a partner. (Uitert 2016)
Uitert, Evert van. 2016. "Gogh, Vincent (Willem) van." In Oxford Art Online, edited by Judith Rodenbeck. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://0-www.oxfordartonline.com.mercury.concordia.ca/
|The structure of DNA is a double helix.||
Mitochondrial DNA abnormalities are the root cause of many disorders, such as the Kearns-Sayre syndrome (Beers 2006, 2700)
Beers, Mark H. 2006. The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. Rahway: Merck.
Based on Claremont Colleges Library's activity To cite or not to cite.