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Things Fall Apart: Citation Guide

Citing Your Sources

Why Cite?

When writing a research paper or an essay, you need to support your ideas with quotes and examples of other people’s work. By citing a source, you are also giving other writers credit for their work, confirming the credibility and authority of the sources you are using, and showing depth in your research. The citations in your research paper or essay also allow your readers to investigate your findings, and help them conduct research on their own. Finally, strong citations in a research paper or essay contribute to the body of knowledge for the discipline you are writing about.

How do you cite sources?

There are three major citation styles used for most academic papers. Your instructor might have a preference for which style to follow. Each style has its own method for formatting citations and for producing bibliographies (a list of resources at the end of an article).

* APA Style – The American Psychological Association style is most commonly used in the field of psychology as well as social sciences (BF76.7 .P83 2010 Reserve)

* MLA Style – Modern Language Association of America is commonly used in literature, arts and humanities (LB2369 .G53 2003 Reserve)

* Chicago/Turabian Style is commonly used in the field of history (Z253 .U69 2003 Stacks/LB2369 .T8 2007 Reserve)

Database Citation Assistance

Academic Search Elite, Proquest Research Library, OmniFile Mega, and other databases will let you choose a citation style for the documents you wish to email, print or save. (For the most part, the database providers caution you against relying 100% on their citations. Always check automatically-generated citations against the style guide.)

Ebrary lets you choose either APA or MLA style for references to its books. To use this feature, you must be in a book. Then, select "Info Tools," "Preferences," then "Citation Style: Ebrary."

Additional Resources

APA Style Guide

MLA Style Guide

Chicago/Turabian Style Guide