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Artists and Artworks: A Step-by-Step Research Guide: Cite Your Sources

step-by-step guide to researching artists and artworks

Citation Styles: Online Help

Notecards with handwritten citations in black ink.

Index Card by Reeding Lessons, February 3, 2007 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Accessed: September 1, 2016

Chicago Manual of Style

MLA Handbook

The MLA Handbook, 9th ed. (2021) is available at the Reference Desk, Gitenstein Library (1st floor). Use this latest edition for up-to-date citation guidance.

MLA makes available a helpful Works Cited: Quick Guide. Also consider consulting the MLA Formatting and Style Guide published by the Online Writing Lab of Purdue University.

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed. (2008) is located in the Reference Stacks (1st floor).

Why Cite?

Guidelines for Citing Images

Outside or secondary sources informed and influenced your own analysis and must therefore be properly cited. Other reasons to cite your sources:

  1. Support or validate your argument.
  2. Give credit where credit is due.
  3. Courtesy to your readers.
  4. Prevent plagiarism.

Plagiarism and How To Avoid It

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism constitutes a major ethical breach, whether committed by a freshman or senior scholar. It is a form of academic dishonesty in which a researcher uses another's words or ideas without giving the originator proper credit. Academic writers generally need not cite well known facts and commonly-held knowledge within their communities (e.g., Art Deco appeared in Europe after World War I).

When in doubt, cite it. Under no circumstances should you lift another writer's words directly from her text and paste it into your own paper without using quotation marks. Many students get into trouble through inadvertent or careless plagiarism. If you have not given proper credit to your source, whether through intentional action or carelessness, it constitutes an act of plagiarism. Learn more from the Academic Integrity page at the FSP Faculty Website, TCNJ.

How do I avoid plagiarism?

  • Plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of time. The closer to deadline you wait to start working the more likely you are to make mistakes and inadvertently plagiarize sources in your rush to completion.
  • Take careful notes. Make sure to cite direct quotations.
  • Use quotations and paraphrasing (see this quick tutorial on YouTube).
  • Use a citation manager such as RefWorks to keep track of and organize your sources.


Annotated Bibliographies

Check out What is An Annotated Bibliography?, a brief (2-minute) video from the folks at the Kimbel Library, Coastal Carolina University. Michael Engle, Librarian at Cornell University Library, authored How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography. It is simple but effective. Helpful too is Purdue Owl's Annotated Bibliographies guide.

Guide Author

Profile Photo
David C. Murray
TCNJ Library,
Room 216


RefWorks logoManage your citations with RefWorks, a library database for easily importing, exporting, searching, and creating bibliographies in hundreds of styles including MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and APA. Citations to articles found in library databases can be imported directly into RefWorks. No manual entry required!