Austin's Rules of Thumb

Cite quotes, other people's ideas, and facts that are not common knowledge.

As a rule of thumb, there are three things that need citations in academic writing:

  • Quotations

  • Summaries of other people’s ideas

  • Specific details and facts (like statistics)

There are two things that don’t need citations:

  • Your own ideas (including the results of your own research)

  • Facts that are common knowledge for your intended readers

For every source you cite, include a reference in your reference list.