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Citing the sources you use in your paper not only gives credit to the author of the original source to avoid plagiarism, but it also allows your readers to identify the source for further study. The citation is also evidence showing that your position is well-researched.
There are different citation styles. APA and MLA are two of the most commonly used citation styles. Your instructor may require that you use a specific style for your paper. Whichever citation style you use, make sure you follow the rules and use the same style throughout your paper.
Some students mistakenly think citation means only the 'References' or 'Works Cited' page at the end of a research paper. In fact, a citation style governs:
the format of the paper
the in-text citation
Let's learn more about the MLA and APA citations styles.
10.21 MLA Citation Style
The MLA citation style was developed by the Modern Language Association. It is usually used in arts and humanities, such as languages, literature, and drama.
This MLA Slide Presentation from Purdue University explains in detail the format and basic rules of the MLA citation styles.
Detailed Guidelines and Examples
It is almost impossible for one to remember all the citation rules and formats. Don't worry, you can find detailed information with examples on the Purdue University Online Writing Lab- MLA. Just go to the Web site, choose to view the guidelines from the left navigation bar and follow the examples to transcribe your source into MLA format. For example, if you need to cite a source which happens to be a blog post, you can choose "MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources", scroll down to see the guideline for citing blog posts and follow the citation example to create yours. (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/)
For a quick reference guide, you can use this MLA Style Guidelines. This handout is also available in print at the library.
10.22 APA Citation Style
The APA citation style was developed by the American Psychological Association. It is usually used in social sciences, such as psychology and sociology.
This APA Slide Presentation from Purdue University explains in detail the format and basic rules of the MLA citation styles.
Detailed Guidelines and Examples
Again, it is hard to remember all the citation rules and formats. So refer to the detailed information with examples on the Purdue University Online Writing Lab- APA. Go to the Web site, choose from the left navigation bar to view the guidelines and follow the examples to transcribe your source into APA format. For example, if you need to cite a source which happens to be a video, you can choose "Reference List: Other non-print sources" to see the guideline of citing motion pictures and follow the citation example to create yours. (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/)
For a quick reference guide, you can use this APA Style Guidelines. This handout is also available in print at the library.
10.23 Other Citation Styles
Chicago Manual of Style
(from Purdue Online Writing Lab) http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/17
(from Chicago University Press) http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_citationguide.html
AAA (American Anthropological Association) Style
(from American Anthropological Association) http://www.aaanet.org/publications/style_guide.pdf
ASA (American Sociological Association) Style
(from Purdue Online Writing Lab)
APSA (American Political Science Association) Style
(from CSU Chico) http://www.csuchico.edu/lref/pols/APSA.pdf
10.24 Getting Citations from Library Databases (video 2:30)
- how to get the citations of the articles retrieved from different library databases, such as Proquest, EBSCOhost, SIRS, etc.