If you were an expert on your paper topic, you could be your own source of information. But assuming you’re not an expert, you will have to do some reading, write what you learned, and keep track of the books or articles or websites where you got your facts or quotes. You’ll name those sources in your notes and bibliography. Two reasons for naming your sources: (1) to prove you didn’t make anything up, and (2) to tell others where to find the information. Read a one-page tip sheet on reasons for citing sources: Why Cite Sources?
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#ChicagoStyle: Many school libraries provide free access to The Chicago Manual of Style Online. If you aren’t sure whether your school subscribes, ask your librarian. In the meantime, click here for a free trial.
#ChicagoStyle for students: Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is a smaller version of The Chicago Manual of Style written specifically for students.
Photo: Kitten, writing, courtesy distillated (Flickr).