How do I Cite??

The world of citing can be scary-do I use MLA? APA? Chicago? What if I am in a science discipline-how do I cite my sources? Citing is also one of the most important components of research in the academic world, and the difference between doing it right and wrong can be the difference between a successful career in academia, and being kicked out of school for plagiarism.

But not to worry! The Reference Department staff has you covered for all your citation needs. On our reference department homepage you can check How To Cite, which will provide you with guides reference staff has created as a quick “how to” guide to citing sources. It offers MLA, APA, and Chicago guides to citing, three of the most common citation styles in the academic world. These guides are in PDF format.

Are you a political science major? Perhaps you’re working with government documents and don’t know the first place to start to cite such complex documents. Not to worry-we have government information citation guides specifically designed for you, explaining how to cite everything from microforms to electronic documents to government websites.

If you’re doing more intensive research, and are looking for help with a citation program such as Endnote or Zotero, we have resources for you to use, as well as other bibliographic software that can aid your research and citations.

Lastly, the Reference Department has a wide array of books to offer even further citation help. Below are just a couple books that we have that can assist you with your citation needs.

A Manual For Writers of Research, Papers, Theses and Dissertations. Located in the Reference Collection, call number: LB2369 .T8 2007

MLA Style Manual. Located in the Reference Collection, call number PN147 .A28 1985

There are a host of other books, so check these out. And, as always, don’t forget to ask a librarian!


Give a hoot about citation!

So why blog about a citation website, one might ask, when there are numerous citation generators on the web?  I typically go straight to Purdue’s OWL citation site when I start my works-cited page for various reasons.  While online citation generators are convenient, I’ve never had much luck with them (many times the citations they’ve given me have been incorrect).  So the first reason I love the OWL site is that it doesn’t generate the citations, meaning that if they’re incorrect than it’s my fault (and vice versa for that matter).  Besides, instead of sending patrons to a website that will do the work for them, and do it incorrectly, it’s much better to send them somewhere where they learn how to write citations.

The OWL site covers MLA, APA, ASA, and Chicago styles, and gives examples of all types of sources (print, electronic, non-electronic, etc.).  The site also addresses plagiarism, evaluation of sources, and grammar, among many other topics.  Of course, not all types of resources are covered, so the site should not be considered a substitute for the official print manuals.  But the information is up-to-date (for example, the MLA formats are all current with the 2009 updates) and the site has a strong and trustworthy foundation (it became the first online writing lab when it was launched in 1994).  So give a hoot about citation and take a look at the OWL at Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab!