Citation styles

When citing references, you must follow a particular style.  Styles guides show how to properly format a paper and cite references.  Practices vary according to the type of source and the format.

Your referencing style will vary according to the discipline.  Always ask your professor which style you should be using.

Here are three common style guides. Always ensure you follow the most recent edition.

For discipline-specific information, see the library research guides.


Commonly used in the social sciences.  It is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, currently in its sixth edition. APA is usually easy to recognize because it follows the author-date format for referencing. 


Commonly used in the humanities, as well as in other disciplines.  It’s based on The Chicago Manual of Style, currently in its 16th edition.  Chicago follows a notes and bibliography system; references are numbered and added either as a footnote or endnote with the complete bibliography at the end of the work. 

Chicago resources:

Commonly used in the arts and humanities.  The Modern Language Association (MLA) publishes two different manuals: 

MLA resources:
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