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Citation Help

A guide on citation styles and formatting


This guide will help you to: 

  • Properly cite sources in multiple popular citation styles

  • Find resources for your own research and class projects using reference pages and/or bibliographies

  • Learn more about citation practices and avoiding plagiarism

There are many citation formats, most are connected to fields of research and it's requirements. Check with your instructor to ensure you use the correct format. Link to individual style guides below.

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Citing a source gives credit to others' work that contributed to your own project, whether you included or referenced a quotation, idea, statistic or image. By citing sources, you are avoiding plagiarizing the work of others. A citation or reference gives identifying information for a source and allows your readers or viewers to find them. Citations appear within the text of work as well as a reference list or bibliography. 


When to Cite

Cite sources to document all facts that you mention that are not common knowledge.

Cite when you are directly quoting 

If you are stating word-for-word what someone else has already written, you must put quotes around those words and give credit to the original author. 

Cite when you are summarizing and paraphrasing

Summarizing and paraphrasing are two related practices but they are not the same.

  • Summarizing is when you read a text, consider the main points, and provide a shorter version of what you learned 
  • Paraphrasing is when you restate what the original author said in your own words, adapting it to your style and the context of your topic

How to Build a Reference

All citations no matter the style is made up of information that helps readers find your sources. ​Identifying information often included in a citation or reference:

  • article title or chapter title
  • periodical title or book title
  • author(s) or editor(s)
  • place of publication
  • date of publication
  • publisher name
  • volume/issue (articles) or edition (books)
  • page range (e.g. of the article's page range within a journal or the page range of a chapter referenced)
  • electronic access (URL or DOI)

Citation Tools and Generators

Free web-based tools and guides for creating citations. Citation generators rely on the user’s input and automation, so understanding basic rules allow you to input correctly and notice if there are errors.