Citation Styles

Cite it right

Citing sources in papers and projects is essential for several reasons: to avoid plagiarism, to show you have done research, to give credit to scholars and authors, and to allow the reader to locate the sources.

Citation 101

There are two kinds of sources:

  • Primary: study or data on a subject written by someone with firsthand observation
  • Secondary: study or data on a subject written by someone who has analyzed firsthand data written by someone else

When writing an academic paper, you should document the following types of information:

  • All information that is new knowledge to you
  • All paraphrased information
  • Direct quotations

Documenting too much is generally better than not documenting enough.  In general, you should probably document at least once per paragraph.

Citation Styles

There are several methods of citation:



“Plagiarism” is using someone else’s words, ideas, or information in your own writing without acknowledging the source. Committing plagiarism is easy because many people are uninformed about plagiarism. Check out the following document to learn more about plagiarism:


Purdue OWL

The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is an excellent resource for finding additional information on citation styles. The Purdue OWL includes the following information:

  •  APA, MLA and Chicago citation styles
  • In-text citation instructions and samples
  • Works cited and bibliography instructions and samples

Purdue Owl

Click here to visit the Purdue OWL site.

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