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**Research Basics**: Citing Sources

Easy to follow guide on how to do research step by step, from start to finish. Choosing and researching a topic, using library materials, finding books and articles, search strategies, evaluating information and more!

What is a Citation?

A citation is the information which identifies a book or article. Information for a book usually includes the author, title, publisher, city of publication, and date. The citation for an article usually includes the author, title of the article, title of the journal, volume, issue, pages, and date but the information included will mainly depend on which citation style you use (MLA, APA< etc)..

citation guide

Citing Sources

There are varying ways to cite sources. Usually, a short form of the citation is included within the text of the paper (referred to as in-text or parenthetical citations) and then the full citation is given on the last page of the paper, sometimes referred to as a "Works Cited" page, a "Reference List," or a "Bibliography."

Also, there are different styles to citing sources. The following styles are commonly used:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) Format is generally used to cite sources within the social sciences.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) Format is generally used to cite sources within the humanities and liberal arts.
Guide to MLA Style
from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
MLA style
Guide to APA Style
from Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)
APA style
*Updated to 7th ed., Oct. 2019;
see Scribbr for notable changes and the
APA site for printable handouts and guides
Guide to Chicago Style
from Chicago Manual of Style
Chicago styleRead the Chicago Manual of Style online
Guide to Turabian Style (9th Edition)
from University of Pittsburgh University Library System
Turabian style

Print Citation Guides:

Citation Guides Online:

Am I Done?

Yes, now you're done, great job! Be sure to re-read your paper for grammar and structure, check your citations and hand in your paper on time!

point If you're still strugging, it's ok. We're here to help! Go to the next page to ask a professional.....Librarians are here to help you find resources and answer questions!

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Related Tools

Collect, organize, and cite references in multiple citation styles. Organize and annotate your PDF files. Use your citations in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Auto-generate bibliography or works cited pages from your sources!

Citation Builder
Automatically generates citations in various styles (APA, MLA, and CBE/CSE) from any source format (book, scholarly article, Web site, etc.) (From the Libraries of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Zotero is a free Firefox extension that helps you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Mendeley is a desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online. It combines Mendeley Desktop, a PDF and reference management application (available for Windows, OS X and Linux) and Mendeley for Android and iOS, with Mendeley Web, an online social network for researchers (Produced by Elsevier)

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