Answered By: Student Workers
Last Updated: Jul 12, 2016     Views: 25

You do not have to reference a general idea or something that is common knowledge. However, any direct quotes, paraphrasing or rewording of another author's work will require citations. Likewise, if a fact is obscure, this too may warrant a citation.

As the Chicago Manual of Style (14.1) puts it:

"Ethics, copyright laws, and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations or paraphrases and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked."

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