Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citation Guide

Learn how to use the two most widely used citation styles for writing research papers and assignments.

Why are citations important?

Citations are essential to writing good papers.  They are important for a number of reasons:

  • It gives proper credit to the work's creator.
  • It enables the researcher to find the work cited in order to verify the accuracy and interpretation of what is quoted or referred to.
  • It is a check on the false attribution and misleading use of information.
  • It allows YOUR ideas to stand out clearly in the text.  
  • It helps reduce the possibility of plagiarism as you have clearly stated the sources for your information and ideas.

Where do you cite?

Citation happens at two points in your paper:

  1. at the immediate point in the document where you use or reference someone else's work (in-text citation);
  2. in the bibilography, reference list or work cited page at the end of your paper.

More Research Guides

Research assignments can be difficult to begin, especially if you are not sure how to get started.  This guide is intended to help you cite sources in MLA and APA format.

For more research and writing help, check out the guides below.

Citation Tutorial


Citation Style Guides


Citation styles are rules set for writing and formatting research papers.  These rules cover the mechanics of writing, format, and correct form of documentation. 

MLA and APA are just two of the most popular citation styles.  Be sure to check with your instructor on which style they prefer.  

Citation Creators


These links can be useful in automatically creating citations.  

Please check the citations created as they are autogenerated and may contain errors.

Citation Examples

Sample papers from Purdue OWL that show proper mechanics of writing, format, and correct form of documentation: