Chat now!

Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Education Research Guide: Crediting Sources

A guide to information and resources in education. Please ask a librarian if you want additional assistance with your research.

Citation Engines

There are several online "engines" where you can enter information about your source and generate a citation. Some databases also generate formatted ciations. Caution! While these tools may save time, they usually do not generate error-free citations. You need to check the citations carefully using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or another reputable source based on the Manual.


EndNote is software provided to SDSU students, faculty, and staff to manage source information and help create citations in papers as well as bibliographies. See the EndNote Guide for more information on this program.

Crediting/Citing Sources

When you cite you indicate that information is borrowed from a source.  You need to do this every time your borrow information.

Why do you cite?

  • to give credit to the person or persons responsible for the work you are using.
  • to allow your readers to check on how you have interpreted the source.
  • to allow your readers to access the source themselves.
  • to demonstrate the research you have done on your topic.
  • to lend credence to the positions you take in your paper.
  • to use information ethically and avoid committing plagiarism.

APA Citation Style

The social sciences, including the field of education, generally use APA (American Psychological Association) citation style. APA requires you to note in the text of your paper every time you borrow information from a source, whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize. In-text citations are brief and are used in conjunction with a Reference list with more complete information about your sources.

APA Publication Manual

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the ultimate source for using this citation style.

Briggs Library APA Research Guide

DOI Help

Using a library database?

Click on an article's title and look for a DOI in the article's description.

TIP: Not all articles have a DOI.

LibGuides Footer; South Dakota State University; Brookings, SD 57007; 1-800-952-3541