Cite is a verb that means to quote a paper or book as a reference, as in a scholarly publication. For example, you would cite an SPE paper in the Bibliography of your report. Think of the word “citation,” which is the noun derived from the verb “cite.”
Site is a noun that means an area or location on the ground where a building or facility is constructed. For example, you show a map of the proposed site for the steam generator in Figure 1 of your report.
Just to thicken the soup a bit, “site” can also be used as a verb meaning to build something in a particular place. Think of the word “situate.”
We plan to site the new steam generator within 100 m of where the new steam injection wells will be drilled.
Note: Web site, or location on the World Wide Web, used to be two words, but in 2010 the AP Stylebook decreed that “website” is a single word.
Handy-Dandy Website of the Day:
This site has lots of pairs of commonly misused words listed alphabetically.
Found an entry there on “site vs. cite,” which is why I’ve cited it here.
Good Advice of the Day:
“Be able to cite three good qualities of every relative or acquaintance that you dislike.”
– Marilyn vos Savant, American author of Ask Marilyn and Brain Power, b. 1946