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Citing Sources

It's important to keep track of your sources so you can give credit for others' ideas. ​There are many citation tools that work well, but you should still know how to create a proper citation so that you can check to make sure it is actually formatted correctly. 

Purdue OWL - the Purdue University Online Writing Lab has his everything you might need and is an all around great writing resource. It includes writing guides, formatting and citation guides for academic papers.

Online Citation Tools

If you need help with creating citations, there are free online tools that can help. 

Our subscription databases will generate complete citations for you, with a few clicks. Watch us demonstrate this tool in our short video. As with any tools, it is important that you still review the citation and proofread it for errors (ex. all caps).

My Bib Citation tool

MyBib is a free (and ad-free!) bibliography and citation generator that makes accurate citations for you to copy straight into your academic assignments and papers. 

Citations Style Guides

While MLA is the most common, different courses may require different citation styles. Here are a few of the most common citation styles.


MLA icon

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and Humanities. Most teachers require MLA citations for their assignments. Ask your teacher if you're not sure.

MLA 8 visualization

MLA 8 identifies these 9 elements to include, in this order, in your citation. Not every source will have these elements, so check Purdue's Online Writing Lab for directions on citing different types of works.

APA Citation

APA icon by IYIKON

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within Education, Psychology and the Sciences. APA looks very different from MLA style--the in-text citations and works cited pages look different. APA also formats papers differently, incorporating a "running head" in all caps on each page. See the links below to see examples and a guide to APA citation style.

Chicago Citation

Chicago manual of style icon
Google Docs icon

Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts.

Google Docs allows users to add footnote citations directly into a Google Doc. This is helpful for users who need footnote citations (Chicago and Turabian are some of the citation styles that use this feature).

Teacher Resources

  • Help students identify plagiarism

  • Practice locating citation information ​

    • This lesson plan, from the Brooklyn Public Library's Brooklyn Connections program, gives students an opportunity to practice finding citation information​ in a range of source materials: Citing Sources lesson plan.

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