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When writing research papers, documenting your sources is an important step - crediting others whose work you have based your research upon is an integral part of scholarship.
Citing your sources in the proper or accepted format helps the reader to identify these sources. A list of references can be likened to a genealogy which tells others the history and background of your work.
There are many different citation styles - each has an official manual that explains all the rules (see below).
For school, your instructor will usually tell you which style to use - if not, you should ask!
Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction (2 min.) is a short video.
Confused about Summarizing? Paraphrasing? Quoting?
You can, and should, talk to your instructor, but the Incorporating Sources video (4 min.) will give you an overview. The first 1:30 is a brief description of each, followed by more in-depth explanations.
Usually, you can find most of what you will need at:
- Purdue OWL
- The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Murdoch University Library (APA / MLA )
Styles for Different Disciplines
The Social Sciences use APA - Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
The Humanities use MLA (Modern Language Association) - MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
History uses the Chicago Manual of Style.
The Natural Sciences sometimes use CSE - Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers.
Help with APA
Help with MLA 9th Edition
MLA Handbook - 9th edition
- What’s New
- "New MLA Handbook seeks to make citing sources from a variety of media easier and more commonsensical." -- Article from Inside Higher Ed
- MLA Style Center - Writing Resources from the Modern Language Association
Help with Chicago
Help with ASA
- American Sociological Association Style Citations Guide from Coates Library at Trinity University
Use the citation provided by the database that has the full text of the article. Don’t use a citation from an index like Sociological Abstracts or Web of Science unless you can’t find the article anywhere else. Check the “Find a Journal Title” link (Hawaiʻi CC / UH Hilo) to see if we have the full text of the article.