Citation Last updated: 06-29-2020

General Guideline for Citation

Any idea, work, theories or research of an individual or group should be cited if it has influenced the writers work directly. You should cite a work if it helps support or dispute your theory or offer critical data and definitions. Everyone is encouraged to cite primary sources mainly and secondary sources sparingly. Both paraphrasing and direct quotation require citation

2.1 Intext citation

APA Style uses the author–date citation system, in which a brief in-text citation directs readers to a full reference list entry. The in-text citation appears within the body of the paper (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix) and briefly identifies the cited work by its author and date of publication. This enables readers to locate the corresponding entry in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper.

Each work cited must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text (or in a table, figure, footnote, or appendix).

The following are guidelines to follow when writing in-text citations:

  • Ensure that the spelling of author names and the publication dates in reference list entries match those in the corresponding in-text citations.
  • Cite only works that you have read and ideas that you have incorporated into your writing. The works you cite may provide key background information, support or dispute your thesis, or offer critical definitions and data.
  • Cite sources to document all facts and figures that you mention that are not common knowledge.
  • To cite a specific part of a source, provide an author–date citation for the work plus information about the specific part.
  • Even when sources cannot be retrieved (e.g., because they are personal communications), still credit them in the text (however, avoid using online sources that are no longer recoverable).

In-text citations have two formats: parenthetical and narrative.

  • In parenthetical citations, the author name and publication date appear in parentheses.
  • In narrative citations, the author name is incorporated into the text as part of the sentence and the year follows in parentheses.
  • If no date is available, use the In-Text citation instead of the date.

2.11 Parenthetical Citations

Both the author and the date, separated by a comma, appear in parentheses for a parenthetical citation. A parenthetical citation can appear within or at the end of a sentence.

Good Design at its core is about understanding people and their needs in order to create the best possible tools for them (Zhuo, 2019)

2.12 Narrative Citation

The author’s surname appears in running text, and the date appears in parentheses immediately after the author’s name for a narrative citation. The author’s name can be included in the sentence in any place it makes sense.

Zhuo (2019) noted that good Design at its core is about understanding people and their needs in order to create the best possible tools for them

Table 1 Basic In-Text Citation Styles

Author Type Parenthetical citation Narrative Citation
One author (Zhuo, 2019) Zhuo (2019)
Two author (Larson & Gray, 2017) Larson & Gray (2017)
Three or more authors (McClave et al, 2017) McClave et al (2017)
Group author with abbreviation First Citation Subsequent Citation (California Miramar University(CMU), 2020) (CMU, 2020) California Miramar University(CMU, 2020) CMU (2020)
Group author without abbreviation (Harvard university, 2020) Harvard university, (2020)

2.2 Appropriate Level of Citation

The number of sources you cite in your paper depends on the purpose of your work.


CMU requires a minimum of citations for BSBA, MBA/MSCIS & DBA

as follows:


LE - 1 citation

Case study/Final Paper - 3 citations


LE - 2 citation

Case Study- 3 Citations

Final Paper - 12 citations


LE - 3 citations

Case Study - 12 Citations

Final Paper/Project - 50 citations

Provide appropriate credit to the sources for the following

  • paraphrase (i.e., state in your own words) the ideas of others
  • direct quote of others' work
  • refer to data or data sets
  • reprint or adapt a table or figure, even images from the internet that are free or licensed in the Creative Commons
  • reprint a long text passage or commercially copyrighted test item

2.3 Plagiarism

Any idea, work or image is presented in the paper as their own without crediting the source to the actual author. Whether deliberate or unintentional, plagiarism violates ethical standards in scholarship.

To avoid Plagiarism provide appropriate credit to the source when

  • Paraphrasing others ideas
  • Directly quote the work of others
  • Refer to data or data sets from someone else’s work
  • Reprint or adapt a table or figure from others work (including free work from Creative Commons)

What Specifically “Counts” as Plagiarism?

  • Copying text from other sources without in-text citation/reference
  • Using incorrect citation(spelling mistake, forgetting an element in the reference list)
  • Citing a source in in-text citation but not mentioning it in reference


CMU uses a professional plagiarism detector to evaluate student papers for plagiarism

2.31 Self Plagiarism

Self-plagiarism is the presentation of your own previously published work as original; like plagiarism, self-plagiarism is unethical.


CMU considers it self plagiarism if a student submits a paper written for one class to complete an assignment for another class.

2.4 Correspondence between Reference List and text

The brief in-text citation directs readers to a full reference list entry. Each work cited in the in-text must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text as in-text citation.

Few exception to this rule are:

  • General mention of whole websites or periodicals, common software or apps in the text do not require a reference list entry.
  • The source of an epigraph does not appear in the reference list.

2.5 Primary and Secondary Sources

In scholarly work, a primary source reports original content; a secondary source refers to content first reported in another source or analysed by someone.

  • Cite secondary sources sparingly—for instance, when the original work is out of print, unavailable, or available only in a language that you do not understand.
  • If possible, as a matter of good scholarly practice, find the primary source, read it, and cite it directly rather than citing a secondary source. For example, rather than citing an instructor’s lecture or a textbook or encyclopedia that in turn cites original research, find, read, and cite the original research directly (unless an instructor has directed you to do otherwise).
Examples of a primary source are:
  • Original documents such as diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, records, eyewitness accounts, autobiographies
  • Empirical scholarly works such as research articles, clinical reports, case studies, dissertations
  • Creative works such as poetry, music, video, photography
Examples of a secondary source are:
  • Publications such as textbooks, magazine articles, book reviews, commentaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, Government websites providing statistics.

2.6 Paraphrasing and quotation

It is restating the idea in different or your own words to achieve greater clarity. Paraphrasing allows you to summarize and synthesize information from one or more sources, focus on significant information, and compare and contrast relevant details.

When you paraphrase, cite the original work using either the narrative or parenthetical citation format.

A direct quotation reproduces words verbatim from another work or from your own previously published work. It is best to paraphrase sources rather than directly quoting them because paraphrasing allows you to fit material to the context of your paper and writing style.

2.7 Classroom or Intranet Resources

Some works are recoverable only by certain audiences, which affects how they are cited. If citing Colege LMS or part of lecture.

For example, a student writing a paper for a course assignment might cite works from the classroom website or learning management system (LMS; e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace, Moodle, Sakai). These sources can be cited in the classroom assignment because they are recoverable by the instructor and fellow students. Likewise, an employee might cite resources from the company intranet when writing an internal company report.