Citing Your Sources: The Basics

Leanne Wells


As you begin to gather and read articles that you plan to include in your research paper/assignment, it’s important to remember that you MUST always cite the sources you have used.

Academic research is the continuing process of building upon the work of previous scholars. Researchers actively acknowledge those whose work they read and use in their studies. Also, by noting the sources we use in our research, we enable other scholars to strengthen scholarship by verifying our interpretations of the works we read.

Accurate, properly formatted citations/references are hallmarks of good academic research. University assignments require that you show that you have accessed, read and understood a range of quality sources on your topic. You must also acknowledge the sources of information that you use in your assignments. In this way, you:

  • use sources with integrity by giving credit where credit is due
  • distinguish between your ideas and those that belong to someone else
  • show your professor the range and quality of your reading
  • direct your professor to the sources used, if they want further information.

You will not lose credit by citing your sources! Instead, your professors will be thankful that you understand and recognize the importance of scholarship by citing your sources.

Please watch this short YouTube video created by UNB Libraries that explains expectations regarding ethical behavior at UNB, different types of academic misconduct, and the function of citations in academic work.


View a PDF transcript of this video here

 Citation Basics

There are a variety of different types of sources  that you will come across while searching UNB WorldCat and our business databases including journal articles, books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, films, dissertations, government reports, websites and more.

If you use a source in your paper/assignment, it’s important to note as much of the basic information about the source as possible, including author, date of publication, title and publication information. Other elements such as journal volume/issue and page numbers are added to help your professor locate the original work.

Take a little time to watch this YouTube video created by UNB Libraries that explains citation elements more fully:


View a PDF transcript of this video here


As you research, take time to save citation information from sources you plan to use in your paper!  This practice allows you to easily incorporate the information AND the citation when you’re ready to write your paper.

NOTE: If you’ve used information from a source but didn’t save the citation, It can be VERY time consuming to try and track it down later!


APA Citation Style: The Basics

The standard citation style Business & Management students use at UNB is the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

APA citation style is also commonly used within other disciplines in the social sciences, e.g., Psychology,  Economics, as well as Kinesiology and Nursing.

When writing a paper, APA has a set of rules which students must follow when citing their sources. Essentially, if you paraphrase, quote or use a source in your paper you need to cite it. Students cite these sources in two places within their papers:

  1. In the body of your paper – an in-text citation
  2. In the References at the end of your paper

If you are unfamiliar with APA citation style, please watch this YouTube video courtesy of the library at Humber College:



Students may also want to consider trying Zotero, a free citation software tool for collecting, managing and referencing your information sources. More information about Zotero is in the next section of this module.

Need Assistance with APA Citation Style?

Additional assistance with APA citation style is available using these resources:

Consult the Experts: UNB Writing and Study Skills Centre

If you’re in need of writing or citation help, please consider contacting the experts on our campus – UNB Writing Centre.


Screenshot of the Writing Answers web page.

Reminder: Business Databases Have Citation Tools

As noted in previous sections of this module, several of our business databases have a cite button/link that can assist students in formatting article citations in a variety of citation styles including American Psychological Association (APA) citation style, the preferred style of the Faculty of Management.


Screen shot of the citation tool in ABI Inform for an article from MITSloan Management Review.
Screen shot of the citation tool in ABI/INFORM for an article from MITSloan Management Review.


When using our Business databases, look for citation tools as you gather articles for your paper/assignment.

NOTE:  Using these citation shortcuts can be helpful but they are not perfect!  It’s important that students understand the fundamentals of APA citation style in order to check database-generated citations for accuracy.



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Business Information Skills Certificate (BISC): Research Guide Copyright © 2023 by Leanne Wells is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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