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While most of your paper should consist of your own thoughts and ideas, it is important to include the research and ideas of others and give them credit for their work. When you do this, you are citing sources. Citing sources helps you because it:
- Demonstrates you have done the necessary research to learn as much as possible about your topic,
- Provides evidence for your arguments,
- Makes your work more credible because you have considered a variety of resources,
- Helps you avoid plagiarism, and
- Allows you (and your audience) to locate the source when conducting further research.
What to Cite
You should cite any idea that is not your own. Always cite when you:
- Use a direct quotation,
- Paraphrase someone else's words or ideas,
- Summarize someone else's words or ideas, or
- Include statistics.
Citing - ASCE Guidelines
ASCE Style Guidelines
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) provides a Manuscript Submission and Revision Requirements that serves as a style manual for people writing papers in many of engineering and related disciplines.
- Papers should be one column in width, and double spaced.
- The font should be in a clear readable font such as Times New Roman.
- The font size can range from 10 to 12 point in size, but should not be smaller than 10 point.
- Papers follow a specific structure, or flow:
- Title page (includes title, author byline & affiliation, abstract)
- Main text sections
- Notation list
- Supplemental Data
- Spacing between paragraphs can be indented or a blank line.
- In-text citations follow the (Author Date) format. There is not a comma between the author’s name and the date.
- References basic format - from the Manuscript Submission and Revision Requirements (click on the title to access the full information):
- Author’s last name, First initial, Middle initial (Year). Book’s title: Subtitle, Publisher, Place of Publication.
- Evans, G. M., and Furlong, J. C. (2003). Environmental biotechnology: Theory and applications, Wiley, Chichester, U.K.
- Journal Article
- Authors. (Year of initial publication). “Title of paper.” Journal abbr., DOI, CID/page range.
- Beskos, D. E. (1987). “Boundary element methods in dynamic analysis.” Appl. Mech. Rev., 40(1), 1–23
- Other Useful Links
How to Cite
Two common citation styles for academic writing are MLA style and APA style. Using either style, citations are made in two ways: in-text citations (within the body of the paper) and as a list at the end of the paper. In MLA style, this list is called the "Works Cited" page; in APA style, it is called "References." Be sure to check with your instructors regarding which style they want you to use.