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Citing your sources is important because:
- Giving credit (attribution) to original authors helps you avoid plagiarizing
- Citations allow your readers to find your sources
- Citations add credibility to your arguments
- Your professors expect it as part of standard academic discourse
Different citation formats are used by different academic disciplines. Professors will often require a particular format, but if they have no preference these guidelines may be helpful:
- APA - psychology, education, and other social sciences
- MLA - literature, arts, and humanities
- Turabian - designed for college students to use with all subjects
- Chicago - used with all subjects in the "real world" by books, magazines, newspapers and other non-scholarly publications
More Citation Tools
Bibme Bibliography Generator
Free automatic bibliography generator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting
Assists students and professional researchers to properly credit the information they use.
EasyBib Citation Guides
Guidelines, structures and examples for citing common sources in MLA, APA and Chicago Notes styles.
NCSU Citation Builder
Citation Builder creates citations for you in APA, MLA, and Chicago CBE/CSE formats.
Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.