AMA Citation Style (American Medical Association Manual of Style)ASA Style (American Sociological Association)CSE Style (Council of Science Editors)
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Citation Guides   Tags: citations, research  

This guide includes information on all citation guides including MLA, APA, etc.
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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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.

    Cover Art
    MLA handbook for writers of research papers - Joseph Gibaldi
    ISBN: 1603290249

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    Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association - American Psychological Society
    ISBN: 1433805618

    The Chicago manual of style - University of Chicago Press Staff
    ISBN: 0226104206

    Cover Art
    The SBL Handbook of Style
    ISBN: 156563487X

    Cover Art
    American Sociological Association Style Guide
    ISBN: 0912764317

    Cover Art
    Scientific style and format : the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers
    ISBN: 097796650X

    Dictionary of Terms for Documenting Research

    Your Librarian

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    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


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