This page provides information about citing sources in the most commonly used citation styles (APA, MLA, & Chicago Manual Style). If you need help with citations, please stop in and ask a librarian, or email our Reference Librarian, Lisa Hoff, lhoff@wells.
When you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source, either with a parenthetical citation, footnote, or endnote. Not to do so is considered plagiarism. Anything you write or create that uses or refers to the ideas of another person must be cited properly, this includes:
- direct quotations
- paraphrasing of passages
- indebtedness to another person for an idea
- use of another student's work
- use of your own previous work
You do not need to cite common knowledge. For example, you do not need to cite the fact that Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, but you would need to cite your source for the number of slaves he inherited from his father.
Before starting your research, identify the appropriate citation style according to the academic discipline and/or media format. Check with your instructor about which style you should use.
The APA style is the citation style of the American Psychological Association. It is widely used in the social and behavioral sciences. This APA Style Guide provides examples of the most commonly used print and online resources. For a more in depth and comprehensive explanation of the APA style, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition available in the Reference Section of Long Library (Call # R 808 qA51p 2010).
Other Helpful Links:
This online tutorial from the American Psychological Association “shows users how to structure and format their work, recommends ways to reduce bias in language, identifies how to avoid charges of plagiarism, shows how to cite references in text, and provides selected reference examples.”
Sample research paper, showing proper formatting of APA Style.
Information and examples of the APA style from OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This MLA Style Guide provides examples of the most commonly used print and online resources. For a more in depth and comprehensive explanation of the MLA style, be sure to consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.).
Other helpful links:
This site provides very specific formatting guidelines for Word documents.
The Modern Language Association website. mla.org
Explanations and examples of the MLA style from OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Chicago Manual Style
The Chicago Manual Style (CMS) is the most commonly used method of source documentation in history courses, although some humanities courses may also require this method. Unlike the parenthetical (in-text) citations used in the APA and MLA styles, CMS uses footnotes, along with a bibliography. This Chicago Manual Style Guide provides examples of both footnote/endnote and bibliographical citations for the most commonly used print, online, and media sources. For a more comprehensive explanation, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style 16th ed. available in the Reference section of Long Library (Call # R 808 C53m 2003).
Other helpful links:
“Chicago Manual of Style 'Quick Guide'" from the Chicago Manual of Style Online
Explanation and examples of the Chicago Manual of Style from OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Video Tutorial of Chicago Manual Style in MS Word.