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
- Citation Fox from University at Albany, SUNY it includes expanding menu providing works cited page citation examples.
- College of DuPage Library: MLA is an easy to use citation guide for MLA 8th edition organized by source type.
- Purdue OWL, Using Modern Language Association (MLA) 8th Edition
a comprehensive explanation of using MLA 8th edition style from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. Includes explanations of in-text citations and paper formatting.
- MVCC Library and Speaking & Writing Center instructional videos on citing sources:
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.
APA 6th Edition
Guides and information on APA 6th Edition
- Purdue OWL, Using American Psychological Association (APA) Format 6th edition a comprehensive explanation of using APA style from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. Includes explanations of in-text citations and paper formatting.
- College of DuPage Citing Sources: APA 6th Edition an easy to use citation guide organized by source type.
- MVCC Library instructional videos on citing sources:
- Other examples of citing electronic resources in APA Style are available from APA Style.org. This site also contains an APA Style Frequently Asked Questions section and "How - To" citation blog. For example their pages on:
- Citation Fox from University at Albany, SUNYincludes expanding menu providing APA works cited page citation examples.
APA 7th Edition
Guides and information on APA 7th Edition
- Introducing the 7th Edition of the Publication Manual a video introducing the new 7th Edtion from the APA.
- Purdue OWL, Using American Psychological Association (APA) Format 7th edition a
comprehensive explanation of using APA style from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab. Includes explanations of in-text citations and paper formatting.
- College of DuPage APA is an easy to use citation guide organized by source type.
- APA Style Blog helps explain common questions
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.
- Microsoft Word has citation tools this link explains how to use them and this video describes using the tools for MLA and this video for Word 2016 for MAC
- EasyBib offers a free online MLA bibliography composer.
- David Warlick Landmark-Project Citation Machine is a free online citation composer for MLA and APA styles.
March 25, 2020 LMS