Q. When do I need to cite? When do I need to quote? What is the difference? What is "common knowledge" and how do I know if it is common?


You need to cite whenever you are using someone else's ideas and/or information (even if it is in your own words). 

When you use someone else's exact words, you need to use quotations marks in addition to the citation. 

Common knowledge is the information that anyone would likely know. It includes basic facts and well-known dates. 

Examples of common knowledge:

  • Well-known dates: The U.S. Civil War started in April of 1861.
  • Widely accepted facts: Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.
  • Well known contemporary information relevant to the audience you are writing for: Pepsi Co. makes several beverages including Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. 

Examples of things you need to cite:

  • Statistics, percentages, or numbers.
  • Information that is disputed, controversial, or reported differently in different sources.
  • Cultural information that is not widely known to the audience you are writing for - The names of drinks made by a Chinese beverage maker if your reading audience is American. 

For more information on how to quote, summarize, and paraphrase, click here: http://rasmussen.libanswers.com/faq/32524

  • Last Updated May 03, 2017
  • Views 467
  • Answered By Tammy Hopps

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