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Research Guides

What is a Citation?

A citation is the information needed to identify a resource: a book, article, Web site, etc. Citations are included in bibliographies or works cited statements at the end of books, book chapters, articles and research papers. It is important to acknowledge your sources as accurately as possible so that readers can consult the articles and books that you used in your research.

--The University of Arizona Library

Perhaps even more important though, citing a source is a way of participating in an “intellectual conversation” and is a way for “you to demonstrate your link to the community in which you work.”

--Yale College Writing Center

Citation Format

Different subject disciplines call for citation information to be written in very specific order, capitalization, and punctuation. There are therefore many different style formats. Three popular citation formats are MLA Style (for humanities articles) and APA or Chicago (for social sciences articles).

Chicago sample for print journal article:
Whisenant, Warren A. "How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX." Sex Roles 49, no. 3 (2003): 179-182.

Online Resources for Citation Styles

Get Organized! Citation Management Tools

These are web-based personal citation databases and bibliography creators that allow you to import, store, and share your research citations and automatically format your bibliographies into whatever style you need (MLA, APA, Chicago, and more).