Citations and Referencing

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 Citations and Referencing




The go-to site for Modern Language Association and American Psychological Association writing and citation styles is the Purdue Online Writing Lab.  Use the left hand menus to find all the information, including a sample paper for each style.


What are citations?  Why cite? 



Citing Sources Matters

A short video on avoiding plagiarism from Duke University.   The right  hand side menu includes a link  to major citation styles.


Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Examples of how to do it correctly from the Writer's Handbook, University of Wisconsin, Madison.


See also Writing in College Assignments


Citation Comparisons

If you are familiar with one style and need to use another, these resources can be helpful.


Citation Style Comparison Chart

The Purdue OWL provides a handy chart with examples of the differences among MLA, APA, and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS or Chicago).


Comparing Citation Styles  MLA and APA

From the APA Style Blog, with links to other blog entries on the subject.


An Educational Guide to Citation Styles

This guide provides a comprehensive list of links to a wide variety of citation styles.




American Psychological Association (APA) Style

In 2019, APA introduced the 7th Edition of the Publication Manual.  Purdue OWL and others are working to switch over their style pages to the 7th edition.  For the current transition, APA is leaving the archived edition of the APA 6th edition blog online.  The websites in purple have information for the 6th edition.  7th edition sites follow.


APA Citation Examples

From the University of Maryland University College, examples for many different types of sources.   


Basics of APA Style

This 21 minute tutorial from APA introduces writers to both APA style and format and to APA citations.   Designed for those new to APA, it may be an option for students who have not worked with the style before.


Jr. Sr., III, and other Suffixes in APA Style

The APA blogging team tells you what to do if your author's name has a suffix.


Citing Business Sources in APA Style

This web page belongs to a business reference librarian at the University of Minnesota and provides an example of an APA citation for most Business databases. Part of the site: Jim Vileta's Business Research Launch Pad.


Citing Business Databases in APA Style          

Examples for most business databases from Michigan State University. 


How to Cite the DSM-V in APA Style

From the APA Blog


In Text Citations:  the Basics

In text citations, also known as parenthetical citations or in paper citations are explained here.  Examples are provided on this page.


The Frankenreference (combining two citation examples in APA)

The extremely helpful folks at the APA Blog help with the "what if my resource isn't in the book" question -- how to combine two examples to get a correct reference.


Alphabetization in APA Style

Specific rules for how to alphabetize in APA style, so your reference list is perfect!


How to Write an APA Style Reference When Information Is Missing

From the APA Blog , a chart showing how to edit your reference if not all the usual information is available, and how that changes the order of information in the citation.  Shorter URL:


APA Style

Official site of APA style, with links to information and sales of the Publication Manual.


APA Sample Student Paper

An annotated sample paper showing formatting and a references page


APA 7th Edition Quick Reference Guide

The basic book and journal references in the 7th Edition


APA Style and Grammar 7th Edition

This guide should answer most questions about style and format.  Arranged in categories with links for specific issues, including page order, tables, references, and many other popular questions. 


APA:  Missing Reference Information 7th Edition

Chart explaining what to do if some of the citation information is not available.


APA Style Blog 7th Edition

Frequently asked questions, answered in detail.   






See also Writing in College Assignments


Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

Note:  MLA recently went to the 8th edition, which is a radical change for how electronic sources are handled.  You'll want to check with the student to see which version they are using, and begin with any resources on their library page. 


MLA 8th Edition:


Owl at Purdue MLA Guide


Miracosta College Citation Help: MLA


MLA Citation Style

Examples of page style, works cited entries, and in text citations from Cornell University Library.  


MLA Citation Style  

Scroll down to the sample citations for a variety of common sources.  There are links and additional information. From Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Citing Mergent Online

How to cite the online business database Mergent Online in MLA style. 


How to Alphabetize a Works Cited List

This page shows you a alphabetized list as well as examples for each type of writing.  This page shows examples -- a finished Works Cited list is a strict alphabetical list of all sources and does not indicate the type of source in any type of heading. 


MLA Sample Paper with instructions

This sample paper includes notes about the paper and citation style, and includes a sample works cited page. Shorter link:




See also Writing in College Assignments


Law and Legal Citations 


Basic Legal Citation

This site includes a book, video series, and a blog on legal citation. 


Canadian Legal Citations

Includes information on different types of citations, and also on how to find the citation information. 


APA and Legal Citations

Explains legal citation in APA, and includes links to specific questions, such as how to cite the U.S. Constitution.


The BlueBook Quick Guide

If you register on this page, you can have access to the Quick Guide to the BlueBook Legal Style manual.


Chicago Manual of Style (Turabian) (CMS)


Chicago/Turabian Documentation

The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, provides a guide to both citation and formatting.  The right hand menu includes a pdf document.


Citing Primary Sources in Chicago Style

As Chicago is the official citation style for History, and for the National History Day project, this guide from the Library of Congress is extremely helpful. 


Q&A on Alphabetizing

Click on 'show all answers' to find out about alphabetizing in many different situations.  The key question is are you alphabetizing letter by letter (as APA requires) or word by word?  They refer you to the Chicago Manual of Style section 16.61 to see the in depth answers. 



Council of Science Editors (CSE) Style


Citation Style and Format:  Quick Guide

A quick reference guide from the editors of the citation manual for CSE style.


Citation Wizard for Internet Sites in CSE Style

If you need to cite open internet sources in CSE, this tools will create them for you.  



American Sociological Association  (ASA) Style


Quick Guide to ASA Style

Two page pdf file with guidelines based on the 4th edition of ASA style.



Harvard Referencing Style


Harvard Referencing, which is based on APA style, is used by many UK Universities.  Each University has their own version of the style, so students must look at the information from their own library or web page.  If you are helping a UK student, you need to check the policy page or library home page for their links to referencing information.  Note also that what is commonly called a "citation" in the US is a "reference" in the UK (appears in the works cited list/references list/bibliography) and a "citation" is what appears in the text of the paper (US:  in text or inline citation).


Harvard Reference Generator

This tool will allow you to type in an ISBN or a website address and it will create a citation for you. 

Students must check to be sure that the citation conforms to the rules for their own University, which may differ from the programming for this site..


Harvard (AGPS) Style

From the Victoria University of Technology, a comprehensive guide to Harvard style and how it works.   

Each UK University has their own version of the Harvard style, so students must look at the information from their own library or web page;  they cannot use this or any other resource for advice.




Note that UK students may not use these services unless their library or University has a subscription.

Citation Creation Websites


Knight Cite

Create citations in MLA, APA, or Chicago style using the menu on the left hand side of the page.   Free registration allows you access to additional features, like saving your citations.  You can create individual citations without registration.  Easy to use and accurate for most basic citations.


Harvard Reference Generator

This tool will allow you to type in an ISBN or a website address and it will create a citation for you.  Students should check to be sure that the citation conforms to the rules for their own University.


Citation Wizard for Internet Sites in CSE Style

If you need to cite open internet sources in Council of Science Editors style, this tools will create them for you.  


Zotero Bib

From the Zotero Citation Management System, this page allows you to create a quick bibliography/works cited in any citation system.  You can enter a URL, DOI, ISBN or PMID, or create a citation manually. 



"The fully automatic bibliography maker that auto-fills. It’s the easiest way to generate citations to build a works cited page. And it’s free."   BibMe offer an auto-complete form  and a variety of citation styles, including Harvard.  If you set up an account, you can save bibliographies.  Information about how it is designed and how it compares to other services is found on their FAQ page.



EasyBib will create a citation from a web address.  The site provides a free citation in MLA;  to use any other styles or to save information, you have to buy an EasyBib Pro account, unless your school has an institutional subscription.  


Make Citation

Make individual citations in a wide variety of citation styles,  including Harvard.




Citation Management Systems

Check first to see if the patron's library -- especially if it is a college or university library -- offers a citation management system.  There will often be a guide for citation management systems or a link to a specific system, such as RefWorks, Flow, or EndNote.  Most databases, and WorldCat, allow you to export citation information directly into the citation management systems. 


A Comparison of Reference Management Software

A comprehensive, technical, and detailed series of comparison charts for all the available citation management systems, free and fee based.   



"Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources"  It is a program that you download.  Read more about it here. 



"Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network. Make your own fully-searchable library in seconds, cite as you write, and read and annotate your PDFs on any device. Showcase your work and assess the impact of your research."  



"The essential free research and reference manager. Search for, read and annotate your PDFs. Then review your work, write up and create bibliographies instantly."  Read more about it here.  For Windows.



"RefWorks -- an online research management, writing and collaboration tool -- is designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies."  This is a paid service; individuals can subscribe to it, but if is usually an institutional subscription.  If you are working with a university student, check to see if the library has a subscription and how the student gets the code they need to sign in.  The company's other products are Write n' Cite and Flow.  They have very good end user support materials, so direct struggling students to the Quick Start Guide. 

How to import information from databases into RefWorks is explained on this page.



"Find, use and share research with EndNote It’s for more than bibliographies. Sync your EndNote library across your desktop, iPad and online. Work on your research from anywhere."  This is downloadable software, and it is possible to purchase individual subscriptions.    Some libraries have subscriptions for their students.






Government Documents 


Citing (US) Government Documents in APA Style

Examples and advice for citing U.S. federal government documents, from print and online sources.  Washington & Lee University library. 


Citing IGOs:  Basic Style

Indiana University Library provides information on how to cite government documents with examples from a variety of international organizations.  Examples are based on Chicago Style. 


Citing (U.S.) Government Documents:  Basic Guide

Explains the basics of citing government documents, including how to find the information needed in the document.  Includes links to resources from the Indiana University collection, which may not work for non-IU students. 


Government Documents Service:  DocsCite  

This unique citation creation tool is just for U.S. government documents.  Choose APA or MLA and where you found the document, and get a form to create your citation, with a help link for each section. 



Secondary Sources



Secondary Sources in APA

APA actually recommends that you find the original source if at all possible, but if you cannot, this page tells you how to cite a source quoted in another source.



Bible and Religious Texts


How to Cite the Bible

How to cite the Hebrew and Christian bible, with standard abbreviations. 





Paper Styles and Sample Papers


Using Signal Phrases

How to introduce quotation and paraphrases in a research paper, using either in MLA or APA style papers. 



APA Sample Paper

An annotated sample paper to show you everything you need to know about formatting a paper in APA style.


MLA Sample Paper

An annotated sample paper to show you everything you need to know about formatting a paper in MLA style.



AMA Formatting for a Paper

A sample paper for those using American Medical Association Style


See also Writing in College Assignments







9/28/2015  AAH

Links added 9/29/2015 AAH

Links added 9/30/2015 AAH

Links updated and checked 8/29/2016

Formatting changes 1/18/2017 AAH

Links added 7/30/2017

Links checked, broken links removed 7/26/2018 AAH

Link added at RN's request 9/20/2018 AAH

Links checked through APA 11/19/2019 AAH

Links checked through Citation Generators 11/22/2019 AAH

Links checked, edited and added through Citation Management systems 11/26/2019 AAH


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