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Citation Guide

Citation Styles 101

Citation style guides are discipline-specific rules by which to present information. They help scholars do a few things, such as: 

  • Increase readability by presenting information by different authors consistently and predictably  
  • Attribute citations used to support original ideas in a standardized format 
  • Establish a network of clearly linked ideas throughout a discipline 

So why is citation so important? 

Citing sources correctly helps you to:   

  • Give others credit for their work  
  • Allow readers to trace your research 
  • Join the scholarly conversation in your field 

There are three major citation styles used for most academic papers. Your instructor will tell you which one to follow. Each style has its own method for formatting citations in-text and on the reference list.

Database Citation Tools 

Many databases, such as Academic Search Premier,  Education Source, CINHAL Plus, and others, will let you choose a citation style for the documents you wish to email, print or save. Always check automatically-generated citations against the style guide. Same goes for any auto-generated citations such as those in the Word templates.  

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."