Guidelines for Citations and Bibliographies

The Essay Contest encourages you to use a wide variety of sources in writing your essay with five being the required minimum. We expect you to carefully select all sources for reliability and accuracy. We strongly encourage you to draw on primary documents for your source material.

You are also required to reference your sources throughout your essay using parenthetical citations. We can not accept citations in footnote form. You need to include a bibliography with full citations of your sources at the end of your essay. This is very important. Failing to do this will automatically disqualify you from the contest. But aside from this, maintaining your academic integrity is also another important reason why you need to know how to properly credit the sources you use to get the information for your essay, whether it be from a book, newspaper or magazine article, web site, personal interview, film, etc. Not to do so is to plagiarize, to intentionally or unintentionally appropriate the ideas, language, key terms, or work of another without sufficient acknowledgement that such material is not one's own. 

Generally, if you quote someone directly, make sure to use quotation marks to indicate that a particular statement or text is being quoted directly and reference the source immediately after. When you paraphrase someone else's ideas, or put someone else's ideas into your own words, you do not need quotation marks. However, you still need to reference the source of the particular fact or idea immediately following. Usually, the citation goes at the end of a few sentences or at the end of paragraph. In the following sections, we offer detailed guidelines which have been modified from the Duke University Libraries and the University Writing Program to help you cite the sources you used in your essay and to understand the nature of plagiarism and how to avoid it. 

There are two main issues you have to be concerned with: 1) Citing your sources within the text of your essay; and 2) Constructing a list of works or bibliography to attach to your essay. There are several accepted formats, including: the APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Turabian (Kate A. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Terms Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.)  This section will focus on the APA style for citation, but you are free to use whichever accepted format is most comfortable for you.  The Purdue Online Writing Lab has extensive resources on APA and MLA citation styles.  The University of Chicago Press has a quick guide to Turabian citation style.