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Search tips and resources for research in history.

Why We Cite

There are plenty of reasons to use proper citations in your research.  Here are just a few:

  • Give credit where credit is due. (It's the right thing to do.)
  • Enhance the credibility of your argument with supporting evidence.
  • Point out the dialog you are having with other scholars and their ideas.
  • Provide your reader with additional sources for further reading.
  • Avoid plagiarism: unfairly taking personal credit for other authors' ideas.

Chicago Manual of Style

Historians typically use the Chicago Manual of Style to format their writing, preferring the notes-bibliography style for citations. (The author-date style of citations is used by some in the social sciences.)

Citation Management

When working on larger research projects, especially over an extended period of time, it can be helpful to use a citation management tool. These allow you to store citation information from lots of sources, organize them into folders, add subject tags or research notes to help sort and organize your materials, and even create shared folders for group projects.

I recommend Zotero, a free and open source citation management tool. In addition to helping to keep your research organized, Zotero works with Word, LibreOffice, and Google Docs to automatically generate citations and bibliographies in whatever citation style you need.