*from UC San Diego's Social Sciences and Humanities Library
Citations document source information used in research. They add credibility to your work by showing where your information came from and give proper credit to the source material.
Knowing where to find and how to read citations will also help you significantly with your own research by pointing you towards ready sources of relevant information.
When to document a source
As you gather information to use in your research paper, it is important to keep track of where you found it. Your work should include a bibliography of all the sources you used, which you will also reference whenever you use information from them.
You do not need to cite your own ideas or any information that is considered common knowledge.
Everything else must be properly credited, using a commonly accepted citation style.
Article citations always include the following information, regardless of style:
This information will help other readers to locate the article.
Book citations always include the following information, regardless of style:
This information will help other readers to locate the book.
Bibliographic Management Software - Try this LibGuide for information about different software programs that will help you to create a bibliography and keep track of citations.
BMS Comparison - Which one should you use? This chart compares the different bibliographic management software progams to help you decide which will work best for you.
Modern Language Association - Citation Style
The current version of the Modern Language Association style, which is most often used in the humanities, is published in the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. New York: Modern Library Association of America, 2016. The style rules are subject to change with every new edition, so always make sure you are working with the most up-to-date version.
The Modern Language Association Website
Provides publishing information for current versions of their style guides.
Purdue Online Writing Lab MLA Formatting and Style Guide
Provides in-depth information on how to use MLA style, including many examples.
Chicago/Turabian - Citation Style
The Chicago Manual of Style Online provides detailed information on the basics of Chicago style and updates to the current version.
More information can be found in Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed.
Purdue Online Writing Lab Chicago Formatting and Style Guide
Provides in-depth information on how to use Chicago style, including many examples.
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