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Citing Sources

Citation and Citation Styles

When referencing the work of others in your own research, it is necessary to give credit to the original source.

The major citation styles (below) provide a structure to citing sources when writing in a discipline.

  • APA Style (American Psychological Association) is commonly used in the Social Sciences.
  • MLA Style (Modern Languages Association) is utilized in Fine Arts and Humanities.
  • Chicago Manual of Style is used by select humanities and social science disciplines like Art History and History.

Most citation styles utilize two elements:

  • A full bibliographic citation on a bibliography or references page of your final product
  • Notation within the text of your final product that indicates to the reader what specific source you are referencing (also called in-text citation) 


  • Choose one style and be consistent throughout your paper.
  • Consult with your syllabus or ask your professor which style guide is appropriate.
  • Visit the reference desk in Hewes Library with specific citation questions.
  • Additional citation assistance, in-text citation examples, academic honesty information, and plagiarism avoidance tips can be found on the Library Research Process: Legal/Ethical webpage.

Citation Style Guides

There are several citation styles, but the most frequently used on campus are MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles. The library maintains copies of each print style guide; just ask at the Reference Desk to locate the guide you need.

Citation: A (very) Brief Introduction

 This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license. Published August 2014. NCSU Libraries Credits

Additional Citation Help

Questions? Contact Hewes Library

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