Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
LaChance Library home Mount Wachusett Community College

Citation Support

Citation Support

Citation Support

This guide is meant as a starting point for Citation Support at The Mount. We include an overview of why we cite in academic work, links to print and online guides for the most commonly-used citation styles, and recommended tools that will make formatting your bibliographies easier. It is not meant to be comprehensive, as most tricky citation style and software questions are better answered directly by librarians or consultants.

If you have questions about citation styles or software, please Ask a Librarian or reach out to a Learning Consultant - we're happy to help!

Why Do We Cite?

Yes, we cite sources to

  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Give credit to the source of an idea
  • Lend credibility to our arguments

And, we also cite sources to

  • Allow us, and others, to follow the trail back to a source
  • Bring diverse voices together in dialogue
  • Participate in a scholarly conversation, situating our own voice in that larger, ongoing academic discussion

How We Use Sources: BEAM Model

Reflecting on Why We Cite also includes examining How We Use Sources.

The BEAM model (Background, Exhibits, Argument, Method) is one illustration of the variety of ways we can use sources. We cite sources to achieve a variety of goals in our own work, and the same source could be used for different reasons in different contexts.

Diagram of the BEAM model of using sources. Background sources provide information and context, exhibit sources are what's being analyzed, argument sources are used to engage with ideas, and method sources represent ways of engaging with your other sources.

Bizup, Joseph. "BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing." Rhetoric Review vol. 27, no. 1, 2008, 72-86.

Please CONTACT US if you have questions.