Citation Styles

Different academic disciplines have specific guidelines for organizing material and citing sources. These rules are published as style manuals. While each citation system is distinct, the underlying rationale is the same–to facilitate written communication among members in a scholarly community.

This guide includes information about commonly used citation styles. See the content below to learn more.

In this Guide:

What is a Citation?

A citation is the basic information required to identify and locate a specific publication (e.g. book, book chapter, article, website, video, etc).


Parts of a Citation*

Source Example
Book Author Name. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. 

Macfarlane, Bruce. Researching with Integrity: The Ethics of Academic Enquiry. New York: Routledge, 2009.   

Book Chapter Author Name. “Chapter Title.” Book Title. Editor. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year. Chapter Page Numbers.

Tan, Amy. “Yes and No.” The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongues. Ed. Wendy Lesser. New York: Pantheon Books, 2004. 25-34.

Journal Article Author Name. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume Number.Issue Number (Year): Article Page Numbers.
Hess, Mickey. “Was Foucault A Plagiarist? Hip-Hop Sampling And Academic Citation.” Computers & Composition 23.3 (2006): 280-295.
Website Author Name. “Title of Page/Work.” Title of Website. Publisher of Site. Date of Publication. Date of Access.

Stolley, Karl, Allen Brizee and Joshua M. Paiz. “Avoiding Plagiarism.” Purdue OWL. Purdue University. 7 May 2012. 27 Sept. 2012.

*Note: The order and punctuation of the citation components is dictated by the style you use.


Watch these tutorials to learn about using your sources effectively and avoiding plagiarism:

MLA citation style is most frequently used in the humanities (literature, languages, art). The MLA Handbook was first published by the Modern Language Association in 1951.

MLA style relies on parenthetical citations (author, page number) for material that is quoted, summarized or paraphrased in the text of a paper. The sources referenced in parenthetical citations are compiled at the end of the paper as a Works Cited list.

Style Manual

MLA Handbook (8th edition)

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference LB2369 .G53 2016 (Lib Use Only)

A copy is available for regular loan: Shields Library LB2369 .G53 2016.

Shorter and redesigned for easy use, the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook guides writers through the principles behind evaluating sources for their research. It then shows them how to cite sources in their writing and create useful entries for the works-cited list. See also: MLA Style Center

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition)

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference LB2369 .G53 2009 (Lib Use Only)

A copy is available for regular loan: Shields Library LB2369 .G53 2009.

Recommended Guides

OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide

This comprehensive resource from Purdue University includes instructions on creating parenthetical citations and Works Cited lists.

Citation Generators

Overview

These free tools help you create citations according to MLA guidelines. Make sure you verify the accuracy of your results by consulting the MLA Handbook!

ZoteroBib

Easy to use and developed by the team behind Zotero.

Citation Builder

Developed by the North Carolina State University Libraries.

KnightCite

This site is maintained by the Hekman Library at Calvin College in Michigan.

Son of Citation Machine

Select the type of source you are citing and complete the web form. For books, you can enter an ISBN to populate the form automatically.

NoodleTools Express

This tool is useful if you only need to generate citations for a couple of sources.

APA citation style is most frequently used in the social and behavioral sciences (psychology, education, anthropology, social work, etc).

The first style rules were published in 1929. The American Psychological Association has produced 7 editions of the Publication Manual in the ensuing 80+ years.

APA style relies on in text citations (author, date) for paraphrased, summarized, or quoted material within a paper. In text citations correspond to sources in the References list at the end of the paper.

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What is a DOI?

Digital Object Identifiers are unique identifiers that may be assigned to published articles. Their purpose is ensure persistant access to online content.

Example: doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2003.08.2004

If a DOI is available, you should include it in your APA citation.

Style Manual

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition)

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference BF76.7 .P83 2020 (Lib Use Only)

Blaisdell Medical Library Reference WZ 345 P83 2020 

See also: APA Style

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition)

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference BF76.7 .P83 2010 (Lib Use Only)

Additional copies are available:

Shields Reserves BF76.7 P83 2010 (Two Hour Loan)

Phy Sci Engr Library Reference BF76.7 .P83 2010 (Lib Use Only)

Carlson Health Sci Library Reference WZ 345 P83 2010 (Lib Use Only)

Blaisdell Medical Library Reference WZ 345 P83 2010 (Lib Use Only)

Blaisdell Medical Lib Reserves WZ 345 P83 2010 (One Week Loan)

See also: Supplemental Materials

Recommended Guides

APA Style Blog

“The APA Style blog is the official companion to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition.”

OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide

This comprehensive resource from Purdue University includes instructions on creating in-text citations and References lists.

APA Citation Quick Guide (7th edition)

One-page handout developed by the UC Davis Library.

Citation Generators

Overview

These free tools help you create citations according to APA guidelines. Make sure you verify the accuracy of your results by consulting the Publication Manual!

ZoteroBib

Easy to use and developed by the team behind Zotero.

Citation Builder

Developed by the North Carolina State University Libraries.

KnightCite

This site is maintained by the Hekman Library at Calvin College in Michigan.

Son of Citation Machine

Select the type of source you are citing and complete the web form. For books, you can enter an ISBN to populate the form automatically.

NoodleTools Express

This tool is useful if you only need to generate citations for a couple of sources.

Chicago style is most frequently used within the field of history, although it is used by other humanities-based disciplines as well. The first edition of the Manual was published in 1906 by the Unversity of Chicago Press.


Chicago style offers two options for in text documentation:

1. Superscript numbers within a paper to designate paraphrased, summarized, or quoted material, which correspond to footnotes or endnotes that specify the author, title, and page(s) cited.

2. (Author Date) parenthetical citations within a paper to indicate paraphrased, summarized or quoted material.

In both cases, the Bibliography at the end of the paper includes full citations for all sources referenced in a paper. In addition, it may include sources the writer consulted but did not paraphrase, summarize or quote.

Style Manual

The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition)

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference Z253 .U69 2017 (Lib Use Only)

See also:

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition)

Location: Shields Library LB2369 .T8 2013

An additional copy is available:

Carlson Health Sciences Library LB 2369 T87 2013

See also: Turabian Quick Guide

Recommended Guides

OWL: Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition

This comprehensive resource from Purdue University includes instructions on creating notes and bibliographies.

Citation Generators

Overview

These free tools help you configure citations according to Chicago guidelines. Make sure you verify the accuracy of your results by consulting the Manual of Style!

ZoteroBib

Easy to use and developed by the team behind Zotero.

Citation Builder

Developed by the North Carolina State University Libraries. Use for Chicago (Author Date).

KnightCite

This site is maintained by the Hekman Library at Calvin College in Michigan.

Son of Citation Machine

Select the type of source you are citing and complete the web form. For books, you can enter an ISBN to populate the form automatically. See also: Turabian

NoodleTools Express

This tool is useful if you only need to generate citations for a couple of sources.

CSE style is commonly used in the sciences. The first edition of the style manual was published in 1960 by the Council of Biology Editors (renamed the Council of Science Editors in 2000).


CSE style offers three options for in text documentation:

1. (Author-Year) parenthetical citations within a paper to indicate paraphased, summarized or quoted material.

2. Citation-Sequence with superscript numbers to designate paraphrased, summarized, or quoted material, which correspond to numbered (nonalphabetized) entries in the references list at the end of a paper.

3. Citation-Author is based on alphabetized, numbered references at the end of a paper. The corresponding in text citations are designated by superscript numbers.

The organization of the References list at the end of the paper varies, depending on which in text documentation method the writer follows.

Style Manual

Scientific Style and Format: the CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (8th edition)

Location: Shields Library Bio/Ag Reference T11 .S386 2014 (Lib Use Only)

Additional copies are available:
Physical Sciences & Engineering Library T11 .S386 2014

Carlson Health Sciences Library WZ 345 S397 2014

Recommended Guides

Council of Science Editors (CSE) Citation Style

This resource from the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison includes instructions on creating in text citations and references lists.

ZoteroBib

Easy to use citation generator developed by the team behind Zotero.

Citation Builder

From the North Carolina State University Libraries. To generate an Author-Year citation, select the type of source you wish to cite. Then enter the components into the online form to generate a formatted citation.

Chemistry & Physics

The ACS Style Guide

In addition to the online version, print copies are available:

Phy Sci Engr Library Reference QD8.5 .A25 2006 (Lib Use Only)

Shields Library Bio/Ag Reference QD8.5 .A25 2006 (Lib Use Only)

The ACS Style Guide is an important reference for all chemists, and includes chapters on: Ethics; Scientific Papers; Editorial Process; Peer Review; Copyright Basics; Conventions for formulas, elements, substances, tables, etc.

See Table 14-2 (pgs 292-293)  in Chapter 14 for common types of references with examples.

AIP Style Manual

Location: Phy Sci Engr Library Reference QC5.45 .A45 1990 (Lib Use Only) or online

Computer Science & Engineering

IEEE Editorial Style Manual

This document from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers includes instructions on formatting and examples of in text citations and references.

ACM Style Guide

Guidelines from the Association for Computing Machinery. See ACM In-Text Citation Style and Special Note About Reference Formats.

Law & Government Documents

The Bluebook

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference KF245 .B58 2010 (Lib Use Only)

This is the 19th edition. The 20th edition is available at the Mabie Law Library

The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference J9.5 .G37 2002 (Lib Use Only)

Sociology

American Sociological Association Style Guide (5th edition)

Location: Shields Library Humanities/Social Sciences Reference HM569 .A54 2014 (Library Use Only)

Music

Writing About Music

Location: Shields Library ML63 .W68 1988 or online

Medicine

AMA Manual of Style (10th edition)

Location: Carlson Health Sci Library Reference WZ 345 A443 2007 (Regular Loan)

Copies are also available at the Blaisdell Medical Library:
Reference WZ 345 A443 2007 (Lib Use Only)
Reserves WZ 345 A443 2007 (One Week Loan) or online

Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers

Undergraduate Students:

The UC Davis Student Academic Success Center offers free workshops, appointments with writing specialists, and drop-in tutoring to help you organize and revise paper drafts.

Student Academic Success Center – Writing Assistance
2205 Dutton Hall
530-752-2013

Graduate and Professional Students:

Schedule a 30-60 minute consultation with a writing coach through the Writing Consultations Program

Contact a librarian if you have questions about information research.