This guide is designed to assist you with citing your sources for a research paper. Review the general information on this page, then visit the tabs on the left for detailed guides.
There are a variety of citation "styles" which format information differently. The style usually depends on the academic discipline involved (but always check with your instructor first, to verify which style should be used for your assignment).
MLA style (Modern Language Association) is typically used in the Humanities (i.e. language, literature, philosophy, art, etc.)
APA style (American Psychological Association) is typically used in Social Sciences (i.e. business, communication studies, education, psychology, criminal justice, etc.)
Chicago/Turabian is generally used by History and some of the Fine Arts
Why We Cite
"Learning good documentation practices is also a key component of academic integrity. However, avoiding charges of plagiarism is not the only reason that a student should learn to document sources. The proper use of a field's preferred documentation style is a sign of competence in a writer. Among the other benefits, it shows that the writer knows the importance of giving credit where credit is due. It therefore helps the writer become part of the community of scholars and assures readers that the writer's work can be trusted" (6).
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 8th ed. MLA, 2009.