Citing on the Blog

TL;DR? Scroll down past the GIF for how to cite images, websites, books, e-books, articles, and videos


What is Citing?

Citing is simply an acknowledgement that you are using another person's words, images, or ideas. We do this all the time, actually, in conversations and social media. Any time you say, "I read this on Buzzfeed" or "I saw this on YouTube," you're citing something. On Twitter, we include @nameofuser or include a hashtag to lead us back to a line of thought or shared conversation. Same thing on Facebook when we say we're sharing a post from someone else.

"Citing" is just a way of saying, "I found this here" or "I heard this here" or "This person said..." You should plan to cite everything that is not your own - including paraphrased text, ideas from other people, images, videos, and print media (books, articles, webpages, Twitter, blogs, etc.)

Why Cite?

There are lots of practical reasons to cite:

  1. Citing shows respect for the author or creator - for his/her time, effort, and work.
  2. Citing builds an intellectual community by allowing people who share, remix, transform, and expand on ideas to find and acknowledge one another's existence.
  3. Citing lets readers expand their knowledge. Think of all the time you've wasted knowledge you've gained clicking through links on Wikipedia. Oh the rabbit holes...

How to Cite

For the purposes of this blog, you just need to make sure your information is findable. For the most part, this will be done by hyperlinking all materials to their original sources. If you want to get fancy, footnotes/pop-up asides (like the ones in the primary sources) are also an option. [Instructions available under Blogging Project Resources]

To get started, scroll down for instructions for citing images, websites, books, e-books, articles, and videos.

Citing Images

All image captions should include the author, title of the image, and licensing info (usually Public Domain or a Creative Commons license). In addition, the image should be linked to the original source (you can hyperlink the image or embed the link in your caption). The image below is a model example of what that looks like. Keep scrolling for written instructions.

Find Images. Use Images. Cite Images.

Find Images

Osirian statue of Hatshepsut - Temple of Hatshepsut @ Luxor. By Steve F-E-Cameron (Merlin-UK) (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Osirian statue of Hatshepsut - Temple of Hatshepsut @ Luxor. By Steve F-E-Cameron (Merlin-UK) (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

You can start with Google or narrow your search to Wikimedia or Flickr. The latter are both good resources because they contain a high number of photos licensed under Creative Commons.

Like the statues of Hatshepsut here. Note the name of the image and creator info in the caption. If you click on the photo, it will take you to the image page on Wikipedia Commons.

Please avoid using images that are not listed explicitly labeled as available for sharing. True, there's nothing to prevent you from downloading and adding an image into your post. But there's that whole respect for authors/creators thing...

Use Images

Once you've located images available for use, the easiest way to add them to your post is to click "add block" in your post and choose "image." Then, you can search Getty images or select your image to upload.

Cite Images

Your caption should always include the title of the photo, author name, and any Creative Commons attribution that's relevant.

Make sure you also choose the option to link to the Image URL or create a Custom URL that leads us back to the image.

Citing Websites

When working on the internet, the easiest way to cite is with hyperlinks. (<--Like this one to a really awesome video about how hyperlinks revolutionized the way we make and connect knowledge.)

To add links to your posts, highlight a word or phrase (like 'hyperlinks' above). Then, click the link symbol in the toolbar along the top of your post. Paste your link in the window and, if you like, select "open in new window."

Citing E-Books and Articles

E-books are a little tricky. For the purposes of this class, standard format will include a link to the e-book (from a library, the Amazon page, Google books...) as well as a chapter or section title and, if possible, a location number. For instance:

In Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson tackles the question of how best to define the genre of YouTube videos. He points to the example of MadV's "The Message," a compilation of videos showing people with short messages written on their hands. Thompson reflects on how this form might be classified: “A conversation? A documentary? Some new type of poetry?” ("The New Literacies," loc. 1476-1477)

Click on the various links to explore the anatomy of the citation there. It's piecemeal and can look different depending on the context. As long as readers can find your source, any format is fine.

Articles are easier - just provide the link to the article (usually a database link from an academic database like Ebscohost or JSTOR) and a page number if possible.

Citing Books

If you choose to use print books, please link to the Amazon, Google Books, or publisher's page of a book and then include a chapter title and page number at the end of your sentence. For instance, the link, chapter title, and page number are present in the first sentence of this paraphrase:

Henry Jenkins argues that participatory cultures (i.e., online cultures that invite collaboration, sharing, and creativity) are attractive to users in large part because they are easy to access and engage with ("Preface," xi). True, it might take some time to learn how to create a great YouTube video - but there's nothing preventing you creating, posting, and receiving immediate feedback on even a video with low quality images and sound.

Citing Videos

Videos can be embedded in a post. Choose "add block" and select "video." Paste your YouTube or Vimeo link and Squarespace should find it for you. The video will appear in your post once the algorithms have located it. And that's it! Since the video will carry the link with it, there's no need for additional citation.

Heather Bennett

Professor, feminist, sci-fi geek. Historian interested in pedagogy, technology, gender/sexuality, archives, pop culture, medicine, intellectual history, world history.