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AAAD 54: African Boundaries, Migrations, Displacements, and Belonging: Citation Help

Why do researchers cite?

Scholarship is a conversation and scholars use citations not only to give credit to original creators and thinkers, but also to add strength and authority to their own work.  By citing their sources, scholars are placing their work in a specific context to show where they “fit” within the larger conversation.  Citations are also a great way to leave a trail intended to help others who may want to explore the conversation or use the sources in their own work.

In short, citations:
(1) give credit
(2) add strength and authority to your work
(3) place your work in a specific context
(4) leave a trail for other scholars

(University Libraries, University of Washington. Citation Styles & Tools. Retrieved February 24, 2021, from

Quick citations in the UNC library catalog

Example 1: Individual item in the library catalog:

Example 2: Citations in databases

Example 3: Google Scholar


MLA is the primary citation style used in the Humanities.

MLA Style Resources

APA is primarily used in the Social Sciences, Education and Engineering.

APA Style Resources