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ESL Student Guide: Citing Sources

Why Cite Your Sources?

Citations (also call References or Bibliography) are an important part of the research process. By citing your sources, you avoid plagiarizing (implying another person's ideas or research are your own). Your citations also show off all the research you have done to support your project!

There are many citation styles, but APA and MLA are two of the most popular. This page shows you the basics of APA citations.

APA Citation Guide Website

Finding Citations

While you can create a citation yourself, it's often easier to have one generated for you. You can then edit it to ensure everything is correctly formatted. Most library databases, including Discovery, will generate a citation for you if you click the "cite" button. You then select the format you want and copy and past the generated citation! Popular search websites, like Google, often do not have this option, so you can use the examples below to create your own citations.

If you have a lot of references for a paper, you may be interested in a tool to help keep them organized. Zotero is a citation and research management tool that will help you keep track of your research and then generate citations. You can learn more about Zotero on the Zotero Research Guide.

APA Citations

Parts of an Article Citation
Last name, First Initial and Middle Initial. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. doi:xxxxxx

**only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized in the Article Title
**Periodical title AND volume number are italicized

Parts of a Book Citation
Last name, First Initial and Middle Initial. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. Title of Work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

**Title of work is italicized.

Parts of a Website Citation
Last name, First Initial and Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Website Title. Retrieved from <URL of website here>

**Title of website is italicized.