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English Literature Subject Guide: Cite It

Find help on doing research on literature, poetry, drama, and more!

Cite It!

Once you start writing, you need to cite where your information comes from!

What citation style do I use?

Ask your professor what citation style they want you to use. Always remember that your professor's instructions come before any style! The most common citation styles are:

When do I need to cite?

You need to cite whenever you are:

  • Quoting directly
  • Summarizing
  • Paraphrasing
  • In other words, ideas that are not your own.

“Some of Dickenson’s most powerful poems express her firmly held conviction that life cannot be fully comprehended without an understanding of death.”

Emily Dickenson firmly believed that we cannot fully comprehend life unless we also understand death.
 

When do I not have to cite?

  • Popular sayings or proverbs:
       You can’t judge a book by its cover
  • Well-known quotations
       “We shall overcome”
  • Common knowledge:
        Stop at red lights
        George Washington was the first President of the USA
  • Your original thoughts and ideas