When Not To Cite

The following do not require citation:

  • Val's own thoughts
  • common knowledge


Common Knowledge

If information is "common knowledge," or can be gathered from many sources, it does not need a specific cited source directly linked to it.  The same information appearing in three or more reputable sources is considered common knowledge. Examples of this often include:

  • historical events (Terrorists crashed two airplanes into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.),
  • places (Disney World is located south of Orlando, Florida),
  • famous people (Barack Obama is the president of the United States.),
  • some scientific facts (C is the chemical symbol for carbon),
  • information covered in the class for which Val is writing a paper.




However, if Val has any doubt, it's best for her to cite a source!


The bottom line: An author's personal thoughts and common knowledge do not require an in-text citation.


Image credit: pt. periodictable. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license



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