How to Cite Sources

The perfect content material entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to share. Share content material. Share hyperlinks. Share concepts. Share knowledge.

That stated, you are additionally supposed to provide credit score the place credit score is due. Studying how you can correctly cite sources will keep away from any confusion and make sure you (and anybody you do enterprise with) is following typically accepted web sharing etiquette.
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Beneath is a fast information that can assist you navigate citing sources in essays and throughout the web.

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Generally Used Quotation Types

When you’re already working inside a advertising staff or instructional establishment, it’s potential they have already got designated codecs they’d such as you to make use of for citing sources. In any other case, you’ll want to decide on one and keep it up constantly all through the supplies you’re publishing. Beneath are a number of the forms of quotation types you’ll discover.

  • MLA: Created by the Trendy Language Affiliation, MLA type is a set of writing requirements and tips primarily used for citations within the humanities discipline and tutorial writing.
  • APA: This format is predicated on the Publication Guide of the American Psychological Affiliation. The type is supposed for professionals and teachers in behavioral and social sciences.
  • Chicago Model: Chicago type citations have two strategies — One for notes and bibliography, which is commonly utilized by these within the humanities. The opposite for author-date citations which is the popular methodology for these within the sciences.

Find out how to Cite Sources in an Essay

When tasked with writing an essay, you’ll possible be utilizing one of many quotation types above. Let’s have a look at just a few examples to indicate you simply how you can do it. For simplicity, we’ll keep on with formatting for in-text citations.


For citing sources in-text, MLA type is marked through the use of parentheses containing both the writer of the quote or reference and the web page quantity the reference is pulled from.

This instance is pulled from an essay featured on MLA’s web site.

Picture Supply

If the writer is talked about in-text, you’ll be able to omit it within the quotation and simply use the web page quantity like on this instance under.

how to cite sources in an essay: MLAPicture Supply


For in-text APA citations, use the writer’s final title and publish date of the fabric you’re referencing. If pulling a direct quote, embody the web page quantity as nicely.

how to cite sources in an essay: APAPicture Supply

Chicago Model

Since we’re sticking with in-text citations, we’ll cowl the author-date format of chicago type citations. These citations included the writer (or authors), publish date, and web page quantity the reference is pulled from. Take this instance from Murdoch College:

how to cite sources in an essay: Chicago StylePicture Supply

Along with citing sources in-text, essays additionally generally require a separate works cited web page with a full listing of the sources you used. It’s necessary to notice that various kinds of publications can have completely different tips for every quotation type, so test the specifics of every earlier than publishing your essay. 

Find out how to Cite Sources in Weblog Posts & Lengthy-Type Content material Belongings

Blogs are hotbeds of supply attribution points, most likely simply as a result of sheer quantity of content material the format affords. Gated and long-form content material property are vulnerable to the identical attribution points, too, however maybe to a lesser extent because the quantity is often decrease, and turnaround occasions longer. So let’s stroll by means of a pair frequent eventualities bloggers come throughout and determine how you can tackle them — however keep in mind you’ll be able to apply these attribution strategies to your long-form content material property, too.

Quotation Situation #1:

Let‘s say you’re quoting one other blogger in your publish — hey, typically you actually could not have stated it higher your self. Initially, it’s a must to really quote them. Do not simply take their phrases and undertake them as your individual; they took time to think about that rationalization.

However there‘s nonetheless some web etiquette that goes together with quoting somebody different than simply throwing some citation marks round their assertion. Right here’s an internet-friendly option to quote somebody in your content material (taken from a weblog publish of ours):


Not solely does Natasha Pierre get credit score for her quote, however her firm is talked about with hyperlinked textual content to her web site. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to decide to hyperlink to the individual‘s social media deal with — certainly not vital, however definitely a pleasant gesture. Except for mentioning the individual’s title, it is also good to offer them with an inbound hyperlink — both to the web page from which you drew your quote, or to a different significant web page on their website.

One factor to bear in mind when quoting textual content from another person’s web site is that many corporations have content material utilization tips that may let you understand how, or if, they need you to make use of their content material. Check out HubSpot’s content material utilization guidelinesto get an concept what these may appear to be,however in a nutshell, they‘re the rules laid out to strive to make sure you use the correct stuff in the correct means. For instance, oneof the notable components of our content material utilization tips is that you may quote our content material in your web site, however solely as much as 75 phrases; that is to stop duplicate content material points that may affect each our personal natural search rankings, and the opposite web site’s. So when quoting content material from one other supply, do a fast test to see whether or not they have comparable tips to which you must adhere.

Quotation Situation #2:

Now let‘s say you’ve knowledge you’d prefer to cite in a weblog publish. What do you do? This:


The copy across the statistic not solely offers credit score to the corporate that revealed the info, however Wordstream additionally receives a hyperlink again to their website. That hyperlink, nevertheless, mustn’t simply go to their homepage. Level that hyperlink to the precise web page on which that knowledge lives. That is for the advantage of the reader, too, to allow them to dig into the analysis extra in the event that they’re so inclined.

Quotation Situation #3:

There‘s one ultimate caveat to your weblog publish/long-form citations that’s only a matter of correct web etiquette. When you discovered a quote, article, or knowledge level through one other web site, it’s good to point that within the copy. For instance, when you’re newsjacking and also you discovered the story through one other web site, give them a nod that they‘re those who broke the story initially. Or, when you’re studying a weblog publish and there‘s a very compelling quote contained therein from an business influencer, it’s good to provide credit score to the blogger that known as that out. You may phrase it like this:

“At present we discovered through the <hyperlink>New York Occasions</hyperlink> that <hyperlink>Twitter</hyperlink> is hiring a brand new sort of CTO — their first ever Chief Tweeting Officer.”

The NYT hyperlink ought to head to the article they revealed on the topic, and the Twitter hyperlink ought to head to their weblog publish or press launch asserting the information.

Make sense? Alright, on to social media.

Find out how to Cite Sourcesin Social Media

Once you‘re sharing another person’s content material in social media, the method you are taking to provide correct credit score adjustments relying on the social community. Here is the breakdown:

To Cite Somebody’s Content material on X (Previously Twitter):

Merely embody a “through @username” someplace within the publish. When you‘re reposting somebody’s content material however you edit their authentic, remember to change “RT” to “MT,” which stands for “modified tweet.”

To Cite Somebody’s Content material on Fb:

Fb makes it fairly straightforward to provide credit score if you‘re sharing another person’s content material proper from their very own timeline — they’ve a ‘Share’ button prepared and ready for you, they usually make it straightforward to see the originating URL, originating sharer, in addition to the names of people that shared it.

how to cite sources on social media: facebook

When you‘re citing content material from elsewhere on the net, however wish to give attribution to a different individual or firm, yow will discover that individual/firm on Fb and hyperlink to their Fb Timeline within the standing replace. It’ll appear to be this (observe the WordStream hyperlink within the picture under).

how to cite sources on social media:

When you‘re sharing content material from one other supply they usually don’t have a Fb web page, then the hyperlink to their piece of content material will suffice.

To Cite Sourceson LinkedIn:

Correct supply attribution on LinkedIn is easy. Simply embody the hyperlink to the content material you are citing within the replace, and point out the individual or firm title.

To Cite SourcesContent on Pinterest:

Pinterest is all about content material sharing, so it‘s no marvel correct supply attribution is constructed proper into the platform with their “Repin” button. Once you go to repin content material, nevertheless, typically the unique creator has included a URL, hashtag, or different indicator of authorship. Don’t edit that hyperlink out — it is poor type.

And entrepreneurs, beware. When you embody your hyperlink within the “Description” part of your pin, it’s possible you’ll get flagged as a spammer.

Find out how to Give Credit score to Visitor Authorsand Ghost Writers

Sustaining a weblog takes assist, typically from visitor authors orghost writers. When you‘re utilizing a ghost author, you don’t have to provide credit score to that writer. That‘s the entire level. They’re ghosts. You possibly can’t see them.

However when you‘re publishing a publish from a visitor blogger, you definitely ought to be giving them credit score for his or her efforts. In just a few methods, really. Right here’s what you need to be doing to provide an e-nod to these writers:

  • Present house someplace for the visitor blogger to get not simply their title talked about (as a byline, ideally), but in addition the corporate they work for.
  • Give them house to incorporate a brief bio that describes what their firm does — this often accompanies their byline or a separate writer profile web page. Many websites enable visitor authors to incorporate an inbound hyperlink to their web site inside that byline, too.
  • Allow them to embody not less than one contextual hyperlink throughout the physique of their weblog content material, too. Some websites enable a couple of hyperlink throughout the physique of the content material, however the minimal ought to definitely be one.

Some corporations additionally define very detailed visitor running a blog insurance policies. When you’re involved about mitigating the variations of opinion on a few of these points, ensure you write out your individual detailed visitor running a blog insurance policies on your web site so expectations are arrange entrance.

Find out how to Cite Photographs and Visible Content material

When you‘re a daily reader of this weblog, you realize we’re behind sharing the wealth in the case of visible content material advertising — and we adore it much more when you may give credit score to the unique artist correctly. Right here‘s when it is advisable give credit score, if you don’t, and how you can do it.

To Cite Visualizations, SlideShares, and Infographics:

When you‘ve discovered an infographic or visualization on one other website that you just’d prefer to characteristic in your web site, you must deal with it just like the way you‘d deal with citing some other content material in your web site. Merely embody a hyperlink to the unique supply’s web site the place that visible lives, and embody their title within the textual content.

how to cite sources for images


You also needs to strive your finest to uphold picture high quality when republishing their visible content material — if the web site has embed code for that visible, use that code. This is the reason we attempt to make a degree of making embed code after we create visuals (and why we love that YouTube and SlideShare make it straightforward to seize embed code). It makes sharing simpler for those who select to republish the visible, and helps them preserve the standard and backbone within the course of. If embed code is not offered, you too can embody directions like “click on to enlarge” for static photos — this helps make sure the visible matches the width of your web site, however nonetheless gives a great reader expertise.

To Cite SourcesInside a SlideShare, Infographic, or Visualization:

And what occurs when you employed a designer to create one thing on your website — how do you give credit score to the designer? Effectively, it is dependent upon the phrases you‘ve labored out collectively. You possibly can rent a ghost designer (form of like ghost writers) in order that the content material seems to be prefer it was designed in-house by your organization. In that case, you don’t have to fret about attributing the design work to anybody. If, nevertheless, you‘ve agreed to provide credit score to a designer, there ought to be some house within the visible (not lots, however some) that provides them credit score for his or her work. Right here’s an instance of how we gave credit score to the designer in considered one of our infographics — try the underside left:

how to cite sources on infographics

And what occurs when you cite content material from different sources in your infographic? Use that backside part for that, too. Here is an instance:

how to cite sources on images

If the listing of supply URLs is getting too unwieldy, you too can arrange a URL to ship individuals to for the sources:

And keep in mind, when you‘re making a SlideShare, you take pleasure in having the ability to make hyperlinks clickable throughout the SlideShare. When you’d like directions for doing that, try this weblog publish — however this implies that you may deal with supply content material in a SlideShare with the identical stage of respect you deal with supply content material in a weblog publish or elsewhere in your web site.

Find out how to Cite Pictures and Different Photographs:

Very like your infographics and visualizations, the way you cite pictures and pictures featured in your web site is dependent upon the place you sourced them. Once you purchase inventory imagery, it is license free. To procure it, you personal it, and you are able to do what you need with it.

However many entrepreneurs are looking for photos for content material comparable to weblog posts, and don‘t wantto pay for a inventory photograph each single time. Some individuals go to Google Photographs and easily discover a picture they like … factor is, all these photos have various ranges of permissions. So whereas it might be okay that a few of them are used in your weblog or web site, that’s not universally true of all of them.

Some entrepreneurs have began to useCreative Commons to take care of this challenge as a result of they’ve filters that allow you choose photos you’ll be able to “use for business functions” and/or “modify, adapt, or construct upon.” Sadly, you’ll be able to’t at all times belief these filters — customers have been identified to add pictures and pictures that maybe they have the license to make use of, however you don’t. So if you wish to be completely protected, I like to recommend buying a license to a inventory photograph website. There are additionally some free inventory photograph sources, like HubSpot’s free inventory photosandDeath to the Inventory Picture, that you may try when you’re on a decent funds.

The Caveat (There‘s All the time a Caveat, Isn’t There?)

In fact, some individuals who have content material on-line, together with some entrepreneurs, don’t wish to share content material in any respect and can get very upset when you accomplish that — even when you give them full and beneficiant credit score for it, hyperlinks and all. What occurs if you share content material from them? Effectively, it‘s potential they’ll contact you to take it down. Or, if they’ve the sources, they‘ll ship a lawyer to take action. If that occurs to you, I like to recommend respecting the truth that they don’t wish to share knowledge, quotes, visualization, and so forth. — it is most likely not well worth the headache to battle it.

Editor’s Be aware: This publish was initially revealed in August 2012and has been up to date for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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