Skip to Main Content Musicians Insitute Library

Guide to Academic Writing: Bibliography and Citation Help

Guide to Academic Writing...

Citation Guides

What are Citations?

Citations are indications of where you got your information from. Citations can come in the form of footnotes, parenthetical citations, or bibliographic citations. They include things like the original author's name, the title of work work, publication information, and page numbers or timecodes. 

When Do I Need to Cite Something?

If you find information on the internet, in a book, in a video, your textbook, or even your instructor, and use it in an essay or presentation, you need to cite it. Even if you paraphrase the information you found, you still need to cite where you found it. If you copy and paste information word-for-word, you need to place the information in quotation marks in addition to citing it.

Why is it Important to use citations?

Citations serve several functions. 1) They indicate that you were not the original creator of the content, 2) it respects the work and expertise of the original author, 3) it allows your reader to verify where you got your information from and that it's credible, and 4) it prevents you from plagiarizing content which can lead to a failing grade, suspension, or even expulsion from your program.

How do I cite things?

Citations come in different "styles." The one most common for music and other fine arts is the Chicago/Turabian Style. If you click on the Guide to citations on the left side of the screen, you can read on how to cite things in Chicago/Turabian. There are other resources on this page which may still be useful for you.

Citation Generators

Some databases like JSTOR and Oxford Music Online may have citation generators that you can use, however, these are also some reliable ones that may work. Make sure the generator is set to the correct style (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc). Please note that the citations generated may still not be accurate, so always proofread your citations before submitting.

Formatting Your Paper

Formatting your paper can be a challenge. A good rule of thumb is to always read and follow your instructor's directions! However, if they just say to use Chicago Style Formatting, we've still got some recommendations for you. Below is a checklist you can use to see what you need to do to format your paper correctly as well as a sample paper so you can see what it should look like. Please contact the librarian if you have any questions!

Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

Musicians Institute does not tolerate cheating or plagiarism in any way, shape, or form. Doing so will result in a zero on the assignment or in the class and possible suspension or expulsion. For academic writing, this includes:

  • Copying information from an author without citing it or placing quotation marks around direct quotes.
  • Paying someone to write your essay for you.
  • Taking another student's essay and submitting it with your name on it.

Please read the student handbook for additional information about academic dishonesty and the consequences.

See the tab on Resources for More Information for books, eBooks, sample papers, and more for additional guidance.