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Citation Guide: Citation Styles

A guide to creating citations for bibliographies and works cited pages


These sites offer information about constructing in-text citations, as well as constructing citations for bibliographies, references lists, and works cited lists:


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically. This guide incorporates the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly.

If you use a citation generator from a database or website, doublecheck, using this guide, to be sure the generator has used the current rules.

Please Note

Citations should be double-spaced in an actual Bibliography, Works Cited, or References list, and works should be ordered alphabetically by author.

Citation Styles

There are many standard methods—or styles—for composing citations.  These citation styles dictate the order of the information in the citation, as well as punctuation and other formatting.  Citation style is often related to your field of study, but always verify with your instructor which style to use.

  • Use MLA style citations for literature, arts, and humanities.  Consult the library’s pamphlet, “How to Cite Sources: MLA Style,” or ask at the reference desk for the authoritative text: 

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

  • Use APA style citations for psychology, education, and other social sciences.  Consult the library’s pamphlet, “How to Cite Sources: APA Style,” or ask at the reference desk for the authoritative text:

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  • Use Chicago style citations for non-scholarly publications, like general interest books, magazines, and newspapers.  Ask at the reference desk for the authoritative text:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

NOTE: Other standard citation styles include Turabian, Council of Scientific Editors, American Sociological Association and American Medical Association

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