Children's Literature Collection

Citing Sources

Why do we cite?

  • Avoiding plagiarism 
  • Showing readers (and professors) that you have done your research 
  • Providing information that allows readers to find the sources you used 
  • Giving credit to authors and content creators 

How do we cite?

  • Citation style guides provide guidelines on formatting citations
  • Consistent formatting allows for citations to be read and understood easily 
  • In-text citations identify all words or ideas that are not your own 

How do I Paraphrase and Quote in Academic Writing?

Paraphrasing and Quoting are key skills in academic writing, but paraphrasing or quoting poorly qualifies as plagiarism. The following resources provide you with information to ensure you paraphrase and quote successfully.

How Do I Read a Peer Reviewed Article?

Knowing where to start when reading an academic article can be intimidating. Below are a few resources to save you time and help you read through articles in a more efficient manner.

Tips for Reducing Bias in Your Writing

Avoid generalizations

Written statements should not state or imply that all or none (or always or never) assertions.

Red X icon  Arkansans are very eco-conscious and vote to pass laws and regulations that help protect the earth.

This sentence implies that all people living in Arkansas share this trait, which is untrue.

green checkmark icon  Some Arkansans are eco-conscious and have voted to help several laws and regulations pass that help protect the earth.

This sentence better acknowledges that the writer is not assuming that all Arkansans share this trait.

Provide evidence

Support your assertions with resources and research. Do not rely on your beliefs or experiences.

Red X icon  Although fishing can be a fun activity for the whole family, almost no women I know went fishing last year.

This sentence relies on the authors experiences and is not supported by evidence.

green checkmark icon  Although fishing can be a fun activity for the whole family, women participated in fishing activities at a lower rate than men in 2019. The 2019 Special Report on Fishing by the Recreational Boating 7 Fishing foundation found that 35.8% of fishing participants were women.

These sentences provide evidence to support the author's claims.

Be objective

Bias can be both negative and positive. Try to write in a balanced and avoid being critical or complimentary of a given topic or entity.

Red X icon       Electric cars are superior to combustion engine vehicles in every way. Increased registration fees on electric vehicles unfairly burden electric car owners.

Being overly complimentary of a electric cars is creating a bias in this piece of writing.

green checkmark icon  Electric cars have some advantages over typical vehicles, including low maintenance costs. While it is true that electric vehicle owners avoid contributing to road improvement taxes that are associated with gasoline purchases, the current registration tax cost is higher than what a typical driver would pay in gas taxes on a comparable vehicle.

This version is more balanced.

Describe people at appropriate levels of specificity

When referring to people, only use descriptive terms when they are necessary for conveying meaning. Be precise without being overly specific. Pay close attention to your language choices when writing about age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic groups, or socioeconomic terms. The APA Style Guide has an extensive section covering language choices for these groups of participants/patients/clients.

Red X icon  Older adults scored higher on the test than younger adults.

It is unclear from this sentence what age the participants were.

green checkmark icon  Participants aged 65 to 80 years older scored higher on the test than participants aged 18 to 30 years old.

Participant groups are more clearly and specifically described in this sentence.

Use language sensitively

Use language that respects the terms people use for themselves, while acknowledging that language changes over time and there is often disagreement within groups about best practices for language. Avoid using descriptive terms as collective nouns to describe broad groups of people (“the poor”). Be careful when comparing groups so as not to create a false hierarchy. Do not compare groups to “normal” people or “the general public.”

Red X icon  Compared to the general public, the gays are more likely to participate in social activism activities.

This sentence uses an adjective (gay) as a noun to describe a group of people. It also compares that group to the "general public" implying that people who are gay are in some way less than.

green checkmark icon Lesbians and gay men in our sample were more likely to participate in social activism activities than similarly aged straight women and men.

In this example lesbians and gay men are referred to with appropriate terms and compared to a distinct group in a way that does not create a hierarchy.

Carefully order groups of people

Note that when listing more than one group the first-mentioned group is implied to be the standard. Carefully consider the order you use to refer to groups of people, considering options such as alphabetical order or sample size order.

Red X icon


# of participants

English 93
Spanish 2015
Chinese 42
French 7
Arabic 18
Tagalog 3

The above chart appears to order participants' languages by the societal default, implying that English is the "standard" language.

green checkmark icon


# of participants

Arabic 18
Chinese 42
English 93
French 7
Spanish 105
Tagalog 3

By ordering participants' languages alphabetically the implication that English is the "default" language is removed.