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Citing Sources

What is a Citation Style Guide?

Style guides or manuals go beyond listing how to format a citation to a source. They establish standards for consistency in writing: grammar, punctuation, and layout. They discuss how to present tables and figures, how to format headings and page numbers, which words to capitalize or abbreviate, and what nomenclature to use in a field.

Consulting these aspects of a style guide before beginning to write can save time and lead to better communication.


Citation Management Software

The Library has help guides and tutorials on using two different Citation Management Software tools for researching and writing papers. These tools can help you format citations and create bibliographies following the rules of most citation styles.

Zotero is the Library's preferred software and the one that we currently teach in classes. Zotero is a good choice because it integrates with most word processors, including Google Docs, runs on all desktop operating systems, and has strong collaboration tools.

Mendeley may be a good choice in some situations, especially if you need to store and organize a large collection of references.

AIP - American Institute of Physics

This is a common citation style used in the field of Physics.

AMA - American Medical Association

AMA - American Medical Association

Used in medicine

APA - American Psychological Association

APA - American Psychological Association

Generally used in psychology, education, nursing, occupational therapy, and the social sciences

APS - American Physical Society

This is a common citation style used in the field of Physics.

ASA - American Sociological Association

ASA - American Sociological Association

Used in Sociology

Biology Style Guides

Writing required by courses in the life sciences follows styles described in the following two books. You can view this Guide to Citing Sources - Biology for more details and examples of citations.

Other options might be the APA Style Guide or CSE Style Guide but check with your professor to be sure.

CSE - Council of Science Editors

CSE - Council of Science Editors

Used in the sciences, especially the biological and life sciences.

A Handbook For Historians

A Handbook For Historians

Legal Citation Style - The Bluebook

MLA - Modern Language Association

MLA - Modern Language Association

Generally used in the humanities disciplines of languages, literatures, and the arts.