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Citing Sources Guide

Most instructors will require you to cite your sources of information you use in your writing.  It is a two part process that includes in-text citations that then refer to a list of citations on a works cited page.   The citations are a form of communication between the author and the reader.  When you cite properly you:

  • Differentiate your voice and ideas from those of your sources
  • Get credit for doing good research and using quality sources
  • Demonstrate how well you back up your ideas
  • Help readers verify your sources or read more about your topic
  • Acknowledge those whose ideas and writings you depended on
  • Relate your writing and ideas to the larger community of people writing on your topic

There are many styles of writing citations, such as the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), American Medical Association (AMA), Chicago, and Turabian styles. Ask your instructors which style they prefer for your papers.

Ask for Help

Librarians study the use of information including citation Ask a Librarian for help.

The Speaking and Writing Center also offers citation help.

The following are some great web resources on how to cite using different citation styles.

MLA Style, 7th and 8th Editions

MLA has released its 8th edition with significant changes.  When ever new citation editions come out there is a transition period.  During the transition from 7th to 8th many of your instructors may still be using 7th edition.  The library Ebsco databases will not include options to cite in 8th edition until after spring of 2017.  Make sure you are clear which edition your instructor wants you to use.  Which ever you use, use it consistently don't mix the styles of the editions in your papers and speeches.

APA Style, 6th Edition

Try these free citation composers to format your citations:

Warning! Citation writing software may have programming glitches, and if you put in the wrong information in the boxes provided you will get an inaccurate citation. Always check the final product and make the appropriate edits. Also, be careful when saving your work at the online services server, they may loose your saved work. Always save a backup copy on your own computer or disc.


Spring 2017 LMS