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Citation Guide

Cite sources, create annotated bibliographies, and avoid plagiarism.

In this guide

This guide contains information to help you create annotated bibliographies and to cite sources according to different style manuals. It includes examples of APA and MLA citations, plus links to resources for citing with other style guides, like Chicago and AMA. You'll also find information on avoiding plagiarism.


Visit these sites for more information about constructing in-text citations, as well as citations for bibliographies, references lists, and works cited lists:

Why cite sources?

Create a trail

Citing sources produces a research trail so that those who read or hear your work can find the same materials you did. When you conduct research for a paper, presentation, or other project, one way you "show your work" is by citing sources. Citing appropriate sources also lends authority and credibility to your arguments.

Avoid plagiarizing

You must cite any quotation, summary, or restatement of any idea or passage from your research. Citing sources is giving credit where credit is due. Not citing sources is plagiarism and can carry severe academic penalties.

Gathering citation information

Whenever you consult a source, record its citation information and note whether you quote (copy passages word-for-word) or you paraphrase (put passages into your own words).

For a book

  • full name(s) of author(s) or editor(s)
  • full title of the book
  • facts of publication: city, publisher, latest copyright date
  • edition name or number, if there's more than one
  • if applicable, name of series, volume number, and total volumes in the series
  • original publication information of any reprinted work
  • if using a specific section (introduction, forward, etc.), title, author, and page numbers of that section
  • page number(s) for information read or noted

In addition, if you accessed an electronic book (or e-book), record:

  • name of the website or database where you found the book (or excerpt)
  • URL (web address)
  • date you accessed the book
  • DOI (digital object identifier), if available

For a periodical article

  • full name(s) of author(s)
  • full title of the article
  • full title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper
  • facts of publication: publication date, and, if applicable, volume and issue numbers
  • starting and ending page number(s) for the article
  • original publication information of any reprinted work
  • page number(s) for information noted

If accessed online, also record:

  • name of website or database where you found the article
  • URL (web address)
  • date you accessed the article
  • DOI (digital object identifier), if available

For a website

  • full name(s) of author(s) and/or sponsor(s) of the site
  • title of the website
  • original publication information of any reprinted work
  • date the website was last updated
  • date you accessed the website
  • URL (web address)

For another source (film, music, photo, etc.)

  • Consult a guide for the specific citation style you're using

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography