When In Doubt, Cite It

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Princeton University provides five basic principles for when to cite sources:

  • You directly quote a source
  • You paraphrase a source
  • You summarize someone else's ideas in your own words
  • You draw on facts, information, or data from someone else
  • You want to add supplemental information not included in your paper, such as footnotes or endnotes

Note: You do not need to cite generally accepted knowledge. For more information, see Not-So-Common Knowledge.

A general rule of thumb is "when in doubt, cite it."