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Citing Sources: Home

Key Resources

Which Style?

Different disciplines use different citation methods. Ask your instructors which style they prefer. If they have no preference, follow these guidelines:

APA Style: psychology, education, nursing, social sciences

MLA Style: literature, arts, humanities

Turabian Style: history; can be used with all subjects


Style Guide for Computer Science

Chicago: is derived from the The Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago. Chicago Style is often used in history research as well as many other disciplines.


What is a citation?

A citation...

  • describes a book, journal article, website, or other published item
  • gives credit to the originator of an idea, thus preventing plagiarism
  • enables the reader to retrieve the item you refer to
  • includes the author, title, source (publisher and place of publication or URL), and date


Citation: the basic, pertinent information needed to find the full text of a publication. Citation formats vary according to the field of study and/or requirements of particular publications.

Citation Style: dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting. Styles include MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian.

Bibliography: a list of citations that appears at the end of a paper, article, chapter, or book. The bibliography is called a Works Cited list in MLA. The bibliography is referred to as a list of References in APA format.

Annotated Bibliography: each citation is followed by a brief note—or annotation—that describes and/or evaluates the source and the information found in it.

Why Cite?

  • It affects your grade!
  • Give credit to the people whose ideas you used.
  • Anyone reading your paper will have accurate references for future study.
  • Failure to cite your sources constitutes plagiarism.

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Available Books

Thank you Kay Cunningham, the original author of this guide, for your generosity and kindness in the use of this guide.