CS 4960

Information on Citation of Sources

(Borrowed liberally from Dr. John Sarraille's CS 4960 course description, with permission.)

How to Cite Your Sources of Information

It is very important to good scholarship and intellectual honesty that you accurately and fully report the sources of information you employ in preparing your report.

Your List of References

Make a list of references. In the list, cite all your sources of information whatever be their form: written word, audio, image, video, material artifact. Attach the list to the end of your written report.

The references in a list are always numbered or tagged in some way so that you can specify exactly which one you mean when you speak or write about them.

Each item in your list of references is a guide to your reader. The reader may want to examine your source material. You must describe each of your sources so that the reader will be able to find a copy of the source as easily as possible.

Here are some specific rules for citing a book, article, or web page:

  1. An entry for a book must include the title, author, publisher, edition number, date of publication, and ISBN. Some books are on-line. For example, many books that are in the public domain are on-line. If you accessed the book on-line then you must also cite the full URL.

  2. An entry for an article in a periodical must include the name of the editor of the issue of the periodical, the title of the periodical, the date of publication of the issue of the periodical, the name(s) of the author(s) of the article, the title of the article, and the page numbers where the article is located. If you accessed the article on-line, then you must also cite the full URL.

  3. If you want to use a web page as a reference, rule 1 or rule 2 may apply. If not, then you must diligently search the web page and the appropriate related pages (e.g. a link to "home" or "about us") for the following information: author, date the page was last updated, date you viewed the page, the full URL, and any additional information you think may help your reader find the information and/or get an idea of its quality. The URL should be "stable." If it appears that the page will only be available temporarily, then it is not appropriate to use it as a source.

Citations for other forms of writing, audio, video, images, and artifacts should be made along the same lines.

Look here for a great deal of very useful additional information:

Restrictions on Sources:

Two of your sources must be either book(s) or article(s), citable as described above.


Direct use of source text means direct quotation or close paraphrase. The term also applies to other kinds of "art." For example, if you insert an image from one of your sources into your work, that is direct use of a source. If you slightly modify or copy someone's art and then insert it into your work, it is still considered direct use.

In the type of writing you are assigned to do for this class, it is permissable to make limited direct use of source material. However, it is very seldom appropriate to make extended direct use of source material.

For example, it is seldom appropriate to quote or paraphrase a long passage of text from a source. It is seldom proper to include copious numbers of diagrams and images from source material.

You must include acknowledgement with each direct use of a source.

You must place quotation marks ("") around any text that you copy directly (quote) from a source.

You must place the acknowledgement in very close proximity to the place in your writing where you have used the source. The acknowledgement must indicate which source you used and where to find the material within the source. You may use an in-line comment or a footnote to identify the location.

For example, if you number the items in your reference list like this:
Then you can identify the location of a quote with a simple in-line comment like this:

As Comer states on page 158 of [1]: "To achieve high bit rates over conventional twisted pair wiring, ADSL uses an adaptive technology in which a pair of modems probe many frequencies on the line between them ..."

DEFINITION: To Plagiarize
From: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Last accessed 8/28/06 http://www.bartleby.com/61/43/P0344300.html

If you make direct use of a source without acknowledgement, then you are plagiarizing.

Do not plagiarize any part of what you write for this class, or what you present visually or orally.


If there is compelling evidence of plagiarism, I will withhold credit.