Citation Guides

Working on a research assignment? This guide is here to help you cite your sources!

Do You Need Permission?

Sometimes you may need to write to the person who produced a work (images, books, etc.) in order to use their materials.  However, for most college work you do not need to.  

Materials used for nonprofit educational purposes are protected under Fair Use, which means that you can use an image or quote in your project as long as you aren't making money off of the project.  

But you still have to cite your source!

Citing Images - Basics

According to Purdue Owl (Links to an external site.), a web-based citation source used by students and researchers across the globe, you need to cite things that fit any of the following descriptions:

  • Words or ideas presented in a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, Web page, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium
  • Information you gain through interviewing or conversing with another person, face to face, over the phone, or in writing
  • When you copy the exact words or a unique phrase
  • When you reprint any diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, or other visual materials
  • When you reuse or repost any electronically-available media, including images, audio, video, or other media

Many people believe that they do not need to cite Creative Commons works, and this is false.  Any work that you use must be cited, and this includes media.

Specific rules about citing different types of media differ depending on the citation style that you are using.  MLA, APA, Chicago, CSE, and ASA all have different ideas about how media should be cited.  You can find copies of all of these style manuals at the research desk, located in Hege Library on the main level.

Web-based guides for citing media:

Creative Commons image citations can be challenging for many people, because it isn't always clear exactly who the image was produced by. Use this guide (Links to an external site.) to help you decide how best to cite these images.

If you have questions about citations, feel free to email sandersrc@guilford.edu for more information.