STUDENT SUCCESS & How Do You Cite Yourself?

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 10/4/15.

A recurring question I receive is “How do you cite yourself.”  This is because in our highly practical courses, my students weekly interview colleagues and non-churchgoers as part of their “Action Research.”

During this exercise students often wonder how and if they should cite themselves, especially if they cite verbatim homework they previous submitted in another course. I suggest they do, because submitting something verbatim in current homework, that came from previous homework for another course, could look like a student is trying to pass something off as new work.  When actually, this is just cut-and-pasting old work.

Now, there is nothing wrong with utilizing old work, as long as it is germane and relevant. But, the key is to let the instructor know (and the reader know) that it was written for a previous assignment.

But, if you are copying something that was written for the current course, just a previous assignment, then you do not need to cite yourself.  However, there are two caveats here:

  • I know your previous homework for this course because I have read it. Thus, you do not need to cite yourself if the homework was for the current course.
  • However, if your appendix is from a previous assignment, even in the current course, I want you to cite it. This is because I want people to see (as well as the student) how each week’s homework has built upon the previous week.

So, here are the APA rules for self-citation.

From a paper you submitted:

Thus, quoting your own previous homework for another course would be similar to quoting from an unpublished dissertation (see )

Lastname, F. N. (Year). Title of paper. (Unpublished master of divinity paper). Name of Institution, Location.

From an online forum or discussion room:

Also, here is how you would quote from an “online forum” or discussion:

From an email or forum posting:

And finally, here is how you would cite an email or personal communication: