What's in this guide?
Belk Library's Citation Guidelines
A short guide to citing research in MLA, APA, and Chicago formats.
The three styles used by most academic disciplines are:
- Modern Language Association (MLA) style
- American Psychological Association (APA) style
- Chicago (Turabian) style
- Citation Management (Zotero, EndNote)
Library of Congress Guide to Citing Primary Sources:
Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed.
If there are other style guides you need to reference. Conduct a title or subject search in the ASU library catalog to find if we have access to these additional style guides.
Why Do I Need to Cite My Sources?
When you write a research paper, you will start by reading the research that other have done before you. In your paper you will mention (or "cite") the sources you have consulted. At the end of the paper you will include a bibliography or works cited section, an alphabetical list of citations that contain all the information that readers and/or your instructor will need to locate these resources.
What is a citation?
A citation describes a book, journal article, website, or other published item and gives credit to the originator of an idea. Appropriate use of citations prevents instances of plagiarism. In addition a citation enables the reader of the work to retrieve the item you have referenced. Citations should reflect all of the information a person would need to locate a particular source (e.g. author's name, title of work, publication title, volume & issue number, web address, etc)
What are in-text citations?
In-text citations consist of just enough information to correspond to a source's full citation in a Works Cited list. In-text citations often require a page number (or numbers) showing exactly where the relevant information was found in the original source material.
What is a bibliography?
A bibliography is a list of citations for all of the relevant resources a person has consulted during his or her research.
What is a work cited list?
A works cited list presents citations for those sources referenced in a paper, presentation or other composition.
Choosing a Citation Manager
Belk Library has a Guide to Citation Management
Citation managers can help you collect, organize, and reuse sources.
Citation Tools in Library Databases
Many of the library's online databases include tools to help you format your citations. You should always double-check the results you get, as the citations often need some clean-up.