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Citing Sources

Resources for citing in a variety of citation styles and for managing your citations.

Citation Styles

Which citation style should you use in your writing? That depends. Some disciplines have a strongly preferred style, while others use a variety of styles, even different ones for specific journals. Your professor is the best source for which style you should use in your academic writing for class. When submitting to a journal or other scholarly publisher, always follow their official author guidelines when selecting a citation style.

This guide covers some of the more common styles, but is not intended to be comprehensive.

If you are writing something substantial, like an honors thesis, capstone paper, dissertation, or for publication, you might benefit from using a tool like Zotero to manage your citations. This will allow you to automate most of the work of formatting citations and references, and make it easy to switch among various styles if necessary. See the Managing Citations & Digital Files tab for details.

The Importance of Citing Sources

Citing your sources accurately is an essential part of ethical academic writing. Although the video below emphasizes scientific writing, the basic principles apply:

  • You must cite sources you use in your writing.
  • It must be clear to readers which text is directly quoted.
  • Paraphrases must not be too similar to the original text.

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