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Citation Guides: Home

This guide includes information on all citation guides including MLA, APA, etc.

Why Cite Your Sources

Why do you need to cite the sources you use for your papers?*

1.     Your professors expect you to read about the research of others, and to bring together their ideas in such a way that makes sense to you and will make sense to your readers.  Therefore, it's essential for you to cite your sources in any research paper you write. The academic reasons for doing so are to give credit to those who have done the original research and written the article or book, and to allow readers (your professors) to look at them if needed to find out if you have properly understood what the author was trying to say.

2.    On a practical level, citing your sources is a way to show that you've done the assignment. If your paper contains no citations, the implication is that you have done a piece of original research, but that probably was not the assignment. Citations (along with the bibliography) show that you have consulted a variety of resources as the assignment required. They're also an acknowledgement of your indebtedness to those authors.

3.    So don't feel you need to hide the fact that you're drawing from one of your sources. That's what it's all about.


There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
  • APA (American Psychological Associastion) is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences
  • Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business and the Fine Arts

You will need to consult with your professor to determine what is required in your specific course.

General Styles

The various citation manuals found below are available from the Reserves Room behind the Circualtion Desk in the library. You may check out one and use it in the library. Or access information provided in the tabs above - for each type of citation style.

Dictionary of Terms for Documenting Research

Subject Guide

Joy Dlugosz
Librarian for Public Service, Administration & Research

Warner Memorial Library
1300 Eagle Road
St. Davids, PA 19087

Unofficial Citation Software

The following citation software options are only suggestions for those individuals who looking for an alternative to our other libguide suggestions. The downloadable software has not been tested. The online citation generators have been tested but only for basic accuracy (e.g., a one author book and journal article have been tested but not a book with an editor or a conference proceeding), so please use these sources at your own discretion.


JabRef (free)



Reference Manager




EasyBib (MLA only)


NoodleBib Express

Son of Citation Machine