I've got to write a paper on illegal immigrants and my teacher wants me to "cite" my paper. I don't understand "cite."

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a college sophomore, I assume you've written a research-type paper before.  If so, you've probably learned how to give credit to your sources for the research information you'd gathered.  That giving credit is known as citing your sources--giving credit to the source you used for either the information (paraphrases) or the exact wording (direct quotes).  How you cite (give credit to ) your sources is dependent on your teacher's preference.  APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association) are the two most common styles used to cite sources, and I've included two e-notes links for you to check out once you know which your teacher prefers.  It sounds much scarier than it is, I'm sure.  You can do it!

krishna-agrawala | Student

Citing means giving quotations or extracts from other books, articles, papers or other sources to support the information given in your paper. The sources you use for this must be considered as authoritative.

In writing a paper on illegal immigrants the citing may be required to support the data on the number of illegal immigrants. For this you may cite the source of statistics you use. Similarly, you may include in your paper quotations from books or other sources that have described problems if illegal immigrants or suggested solution for the same.

Please remember that when you cite any sources in academic papers, it is usually necessary to give appropriate reference of the sources used. There are different standards formats for referencing, and your teacher may require you to use a particular format. It will be worthwhile for you to find out from your teacher the appropriate referencing format to be used.

The web site referred below describes one of the more popular referencing styles. This site also contains links to site describing several other referencing styles.