With increasing availability of so many types of information and sources online, the rules for appropriate citation of sources may be less clear than in the old days of paper.  Here are some guidelines regarding two important questions:
- WHEN do I need to cite sources?
- HOW do I cite sources?

I. WHEN to cite:

This is one of the most important questions in scholarly work.  While there are some gray areas around the edges, the underlying principles are straightforward:
Failure to adhere to these principles appropriately can constitute plagiarism (taking credit for words or ideas not your own) -- the most serious scholarly sin.  The thresholds for what must be cited can be ambiguous. For example, you do not need, generally, to cite a supporting reference for statements of 'common knowledge' (e.g., that the earth is round -- unless, say, you were analyzing the history of this understanding...). You do not need to cite a short, common phrase (like 'common knowledge') as a quotation, even though someone must have used it first. You must use your (informed) judgment.  But, if you're unsure, ask -- or go ahead and cite source!

II. HOW to cite:

The basic principle here is straightforward.  Your citation of a source should allow your reader to locate that source easily for themself.  However, the particulars of format, what information should be provided, etc. are trickier than they used to be when cited work was almost always published on paper.  SO, here are some guidelines.
  1. FORMAT FOR REFERENCE:  There are lots of varying standards here, even within the world of scholarly work.  Some use footnotes, some use endnotes, some insert author and date in text with a 'references cited' section at the end, etc. I ask you to choose a standard and use it consistently.   The easiest approach, if this is new to you,  might be to look at a scholarly publication (we'll be reading a variety of them), and imitate its style.
  2. INFORMATION TO INCLUDED IN A CITATION: As noted above, the main principle is that I should be able to locate the source being cited without trouble -- but the info you need to give to make that possible will vary, depending on nature of source:
Here are a few examples of full citations for different types of sources and in different formats -- all acceptable -- just to give you a sense:

Dockrill, S. J., and J. M. Bond. 2009. Sustainability and Resilience in Prehistoric North Atlantic Britain: The Importance of a Mixed Paleoeconomic System. Journal of the North Atlantic 2:33–50. doi: 10.3721/037.002.0105.

Crosby, A. W. Germs, Seeds & Animals: Studies in Ecological History. ME Sharpe Inc, 1994.

Wright, Karen. 1998. “Empires in the Dust.” Discover (March): 94–99.

1. Anon. Atlas of the Biosphere. 2010. Available at: Accessed September 18, 2010.

“Progressive Forest Clearing, Bolivia.” Text.Article, December 22, 2008.

III. Managing bibliographic and citation information.

While you don't have to do this to meet expectations listed above, I'd recommend that you think about getting and using one of the softwared tools available for managing your reference/bibliographic resources.  I use a very powerful, easy-to-use, and FREE (open-source) reference management package called ZOTERO.   Zotero is good at both 'capturing' reference information from on-line material and at generating in-text citations and references cited lists and bibliographies.  You can also use it to store materials (including full pdf's of source) in the cloud and synchronize your database across machines.

-- KW, Feb 2017