Nutrition and Food Science Research Guide

What is a citation?

What is a citation?

A citation is a record of where you encountered a certain idea. If you read an article and want to incorporate the ideas into your work, you need to document the fact that you are borrowing an idea from someone else.

Whenever you cite an idea in the text of a paper you are working on, you note it in the text. This will be done with either a footnote or in parentheses, depending upon which style you use.

You also generate an alphabetical list of all the works you cite in your paper. When you are finished writing, this list goes at the end of your paper.


Why cite?

Citing your sources helps other scholars track down resources they find of interest. Proper citation helps us all build on our knowledge.

Citing the source of the idea also allows you to avoid plagiarizing someone else's work. If you directly quote or paraphrase an idea from someone else, you must give credit to that source through a citation -- anything less is plagiarism.

More information on citing sources.


Which style should I use?

Talk to your professor to see which citation style (MLA, APA, Turabian, etc.) you should use for each assignment.

Many style guides are held on the second floor of the library in the Reference Collection. You can also consult the online Research Guides for examples:

Annotated Bibliographies

bibliography is an organized list of sources (journal articles, books, government documents, websites, etc.) on a specific subject area. Citations in this organized list include the bibliographic information of each source, such as the author, title, and publication information. 

An annotation is a note, explanation, or commentary added to a text, image, or other data. 

An annotated bibliography is similar to a bibliography, with the difference being that each citation entry includes a brief description and/or assessment of the cited source - an annotation. Annotations are short paragraphs which are usually between 150 and 200 words, however, depending on your purpose they may be substantially longer. 

An annotated bibliography can serve the following purposes:

  • Evaluate / critique consulted sources
  • Demonstrate the quality of research and an understanding of cited sources
  • Provide a list of consulted resources and different formats
  • Serve as a reference for your own research
  • Review the available the literature on the subject
  • Act as a starting point to develop a thesis, research inquiry, or further research

For examples of annotated bibliographies in APA, MLA, and Chicgago style, see Annotated Bibliography Samples at the Online Writing Lab by Purdue University.

American Medical Association(AMA) Style

JAND Citation Style

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

   • About this journal

   • Guide for Authors section References states:
    "The Journal follows the AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed, for references and citations."


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