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Citation Guides

Citation help for the major citation styles


What is a citation?

A citation is what tells your reader that you got information from another source.  This is used to prevent plagarism, recognize another author's work, and make sure that you are using accurate information.

End of text citations make up your References (APA) or Works Cited (MLA) pages.  These are the two most common citation formats used.  To learn how to use either of these common formats for your list of references, or to learn more about other formats, click on the labeled tabs. 


There are several different ways to cite resources in your paper, most of which have been standarized and approved by professional or educational organizations such as the American Psychological Association for APA or the Modern Language Association for MLA.  The citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • MLA style is typically used by the Humanities (Art, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Religion).
  • APA style is often used by Business, Law and the Social Sciences (Education, Psychology, Sociology).
  • Chicago/Turabian is generally used by History and some of the Fine Arts.
  • AMA style is used by most of the Medical Field.

IMPORTANT: Check with your instructor to make sure you use the style they require. And whatever style you choose, BE CONSISTENT!

For more information about the four mentioned citation styles (as well as how to use each one), check out Long Island University's Citation Styles for Research Papers.


Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's words or ideas without giving them credit, either intentionally or unintentionally. Including citations in your work can help you avoid accusations of plagiarism.

Some professors distinguish between intentional and unintentional plagiarism, but the consequences can be equally unpleasant. Consequences can include redoing the assignment, getting a zero on the assignment, failing the course, and being expelled from the college.