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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), and Chicago styles. Ask your instructors which style they prefer you use.

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 8th Edition

Guides and information on MLA 8th Edition


APA Style

The new Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Seventh Edition (APA Style) was released in late October 2019. There is usually a transition period when new style editions are released. It usually takes citation help web sites, citation builders and database citations several months to a year to make the transition. During the transition consult your instructor as to which edition they want you to use. 

Note that during the transitions EBSCO databases now give APA 7th edition citations only, other databases will give both and some still provide APA 6th eddition citations. Look closely.

Below are resources for both 6th and 7th editions.

Purdue OWL comparing changes in APA 7th edition and APA 6th edition

APA 6th Edition

Guides and information on APA 6th Edition

APA 7th Edition

Guides and information on APA 7th Edition

Free Citation Composers

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.


March 25, 2020 LMS