Skip to Main Content

RBE 3100: Social Implications of Robotics: Citations


On this page you will find: 

Citation Basics


  • Give credit to the work of others that you have used, i.e. avoiding plagiarism

  • Plagiarism is using the words, information, or ideas of another without properly documenting them. The WPI Academic Honesty Policy clearly specifies that plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty.

  • Allow others to find this information.

  • Increase the credibility of your work.

  • Show what kinds of information you are using.

  • Allow you, the writer, to participate in the scholarly conversation by demonstrating how your work builds upon, questions, confirms, and comments upon the work of others.

What is a citation?

  • A reference to the source of information used in your research.
    • An in-text citation is a brief notation within the text of your paper or presentation, which alerts the reader that a particular source was used here.

    • The full citation provides all necessary details about that source so that a future reader will be able to find the source.

When do you need to cite?

Any time you directly quote


Paraphrase or summarize the essential elements of someone else's idea in your work


With an in-text citation and a full citation.

Citations should always tell you:

  • WHO wrote the source material

  • WHAT it’s called

  • WHEN the source was published

  • WHERE and by whom it was published

Citation styles will vary in how they present this information, but these elements are always included.

Citation Styles Vary by Academic Discipline

Different styles tend to be associated with a given academic discipline.

Each style has its own rules about how the various parts of a citation are organized and formatted, but they all provide the same information: WHO, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE.

Most Common Styles

  • MLA (Modern Language Assoc.) – Humanities, especially literature and art
  • APA (American Psychological Association) – Social and behavioral sciences, such as education, psychology, and sociology
  • Chicago – History
  • CSE (Council of Science Editors) – Biological sciences
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) – Engineering and computer science

Introduction to Citations

Citation Styles Vary by Profession

Further Citation Assistance

For information and assistance on other citation styles, look at WPI's Citing Sources Guide