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Breaking Down a Research Prompt: Citation Formats

Part of the Fall 2018 "Expand Your Toolkit for Success" Workshop Series

Citation Styles

Many of you may be familiar with MLA format, but different citation formats are used by different academic disciplines. Your research prompt will specify the format your professor requires.

Here are the most common citation styles.

Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction (NCSU)


  • Citations let your readers know where you got the information you used in your writing.
  • They give credit to your sources and situate your work within the context of your field.
  • Citing sources accurately and thoroughly demonstrates that you understand where your work fits in scholarly discourse and that you have reviewed literature relevant to your topic.