A citation, or reference, is the quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing of someone else's work, used as a basis for your own ideas and research. A citation also refers to the information about a source, such as title, author, date, etc., which gives credit to the original author and shows readers where to find the original work.
There are two parts to a citation:
the in-text citation, using either an author-date system (APA and MLA) OR or a numbered quotes system (as in the Chicago notes-bibliography citation system). In either system, the in-text citation goes next to the quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material.
author-date in-text citation requires the surname of the author, the year of publicaton, and a page number (or chapter, figure, table, etc.)
the reference list (also called a bibliography) citation -- found at the end of a paper or report
Citations follow a standardized format from a style guide such as APA, MLA or Chicago. Most UVic departments use well-known systems such as APA, MLA or Chicago while some develop their own style guides (such as the History department) or have you use the style particular to a journal (such as in the sciences). Ask your instructor what style to use.
Watch the videos below to help you understand the importance of citation and how you can use citation management tools in your research.