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Citation Help

Provides information to help you cite sources correctly in different citation styles.

Citation Styles

In general, there are two methods used in academia for sharing citations:

  • Abbreviated in-text citations with a list of sources at the end of the paper
  • Endnotes or footnotes usually with a bibliography at the end of the paper

Depending on your field of study, writing citation styles vary. A style guide describes the standards for writing and for the format of your documents or papers. There are three major citation styles used on the Ann Arbor campus: 

  • APA: is the style supported by the American Psychological Association, and is typically used by the social sciences, education, and sciences.
  • Chicago: short for Chicago Manual of Style, this style is typically used in history, philosophy, religion, and the arts. 
  • MLA: stands for the Modern Language Association, which is the style used in the humanities, such as literature and history.

Many other organizations, such as the Council of Science Editors (CSE), the American Medical Association (AMA), or the American Chemical Society (ACS) have their own citation styles. Check the organizations' webpages or publications for details.

Many style manuals are available in print in the various libraries on campus. Use Library Catalog Search to find ones of interest. If you're not sure what citation style to use, ask your instructor.

Helpful Definitions

Citation: The basic, necessary information needed to locate the work. The citation style (e.g. MLA, APA) dictates the order and format of the information, but the basic elements necessary such as title, author, publication date, etc., are generally universal.

In-text Citation: An attribution to quoted or summarized material used within the text of the paper. Contains a limited amount of information which varies by style.

Bibliography: List of all the citations referred to in your paper, usually at the end of the paper. MLA calls this a Works Cited page, while APA labels the reference list as References.

Annotated Bibliography: List of the citations along with a brief summary and evaluation of each work.

Parts of Citations

When creating and compiling citations, it's helpful to know the various elements required in a citation.

Parts of a citation for a book:

Parts of a citation for a journal article:
Parts of a citations for sources found on the web:

Handbooks and Manuals