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Citation Help

Learn to cite your sources correctly.

Introduction

Give Credit Where It’s Due

When you write academic papers, you must use a consistent, professional style both for formatting and for citing your sources.

This guide presents common styles and offers important resources. See the subsequent pages for more information.

Formatting & Citation Styles

Styles and formats vary from one discipline to another.

For most courses at the university, you will use either MLA or APA style. The former is common in the humanities, and the latter is common in the sciences. Many web resources exist to help you with styles and formatting, and the official manuals of all the major styles are available for your reference at the front desk of the J. W. Martin Library.

See the resources below to learn about various styles:

The MLA format, created by the Modern Language Association, is common in English and the humanities.

Find the handbook at the library or explore the linked websites to learn how to use this style.

Style Guides

The APA Style, created by the American Psychological Association, is common in the social sciences.

Find the handbook at the library or explore the linked websites to learn how to use this style.

Style Guide

The Chicago Manual of Style, produced by the University of Chicago, is widely used in the publishing industry.

It is an influential reference work not only for proper citations but for all aspects of English grammar and style. Kate L. Turabian produced a modified version for term papers and theses.

Style Guides

This style from the American Medical Association is common in medical disciplines.

Find the handbook at the library or explore the linked websites to learn how to use this style.

Style Guide

This style from the Council of Science Editors is common in the sciences, especially biology.

Note: Most academic science journals have their own styles. Ask your professor what citation style to use in class.

Find the style guide at the library or explore the linked websites to learn how to use this style.

Style Guide

This style from the Associated Press is standard in journalism.

AP style focuses on usage and does not include a specific system for citing sources. For your academic papers, ask your professors what citation style to use.

Find the stylebook at the library or explore the linked websites to learn how to use this style.

Style Guide

Lawyers use this style to cite legal documents such as court cases, dockets, statutes, or the U.S. Constitution.

The APA format defers to the Bluebook for legal citations; in other words, to cite a legal document in APA format, you must use Bluebook style.

Style Guide