Citation Guides

What’s a citation?

A citation is a way of giving credit to individuals for their creative and intellectual works. It directs readers to the sources you consulted for your research and helps to avoid plagiarism.

When to cite?

Always cite your sources when you’re directly quoting, summarizing, or paraphrasing someone else’s work. If it’s your own idea, it doesn’t need a citation.

Citation styles by subject

Disciplines and subjects typically use a specific citation style. It’s important to clarify the preferred citation style with each instructor to ensure you’re using the best one.

  • APA: Education, Journalism, Music, Nursing, Psychology, Social Sciences, Sciences, etc.
  • Chicago/Turabian: Business, History, Humanities, Fine Arts, Music, etc.
  • MLA: Arts and Humanities (i.e. English, Art History, Philosophy, Religion, Language, Linguistics, etc.)

Popular citation styles

American Psychological Association (APA) style

Chicago and Turabian style

Chicago style

Turabian style

Based on the guidelines for Chicago manual of style, with modifications for student writers.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style

Other styles

American Anthropological Association (AAA)

AAA (American Anthropological Association)

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Print version: The ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication, 2020

American Medical Association (AMA)

AMA format (OWL at Purdue University)

American Sociological Association (ASA)

Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA)

ACMLA recommended best practices in citation of cartographic materials (PDF)

Creative commons and open-licence materials

Council of Scientific Editors (CSE)

Print version: Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers

Government publications and statistics

Harvard style

ICMJE (Vancouver) style

Indigenous citation styles

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Legal materials

Music materials

  • Chicago-Turabian (Indiana University Bloomington) for Musicology / Music Theory papers
  • APA format (OWL Purdue) for Music Education

Citation management software

Looking for software to help you manage the citations you've collected and automatically generate your reference list or bibliography? Find out more.


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