About Citing and Documenting Research
Accurately documenting sources used for research is an important part of the writing and research process. Documentation is important because:
- It is used to give credit for information originally written elsewhere
- Documentation enables others to find the same information again
- Failure to give credit for drawing on the work of others constitutes plagiarism
All documentation (bibliographies, endnotes, citations, references, lists of works cited, etc.) should be done according to the style appropriate for the audience that will be reading or reviewing the writing. The library subscribes to many different documentation style manuals including:
- APA (American Psychological Association): for social sciences
- MLA (Modern Language Association): for literature, arts, and humanities
- Chicago/Turabian: for all subjects
- CSE (Council of Science Editors): for physical and life sciences
For citation examples, select one of the tabs above. More examples may be found in the corresponding style manual. However, there may not always be a perfect example for a particular case. If appropriate examples do not exist, consult the official style manual or an authoritative website and adapt the closest example found. It may be necessary to take parts of separate examples and make a "hybrid" citation. Print copies of the various style manuals are located in the reference section of the library. Please ask a librarian for assistance.
Special note about APA: A new edition of the APA publication manual was published in 2009 (6th edition). There have been some significant changes in citation rules in the 6th edition over the 5th edition. Students doing research are advised to check with their instructor as to which edition is preferred or required. All APA examples listed here comply with the 6th edition.
Special note about MLA: A new edition of the MLA Handbook was published in 2009 (7th edition). There have been substantial changes in citation rules in the 7th edition over the 6th edition (2003). Students doing research are advised to check with their instructor as to which edition is preferred or required. All MLA examples listed here comply with the 7th edition.
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