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Monmouth College Hewes Library

5b. Citation Styles

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 research 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.

Additional Citation Help

Formatting the Bibliography and Sample Papers

The bibliography (sometimes called "Works Cited") list provides references including complete bibliographic information for the sources you used, thereby allowing your reader to identify and locate those materials. To format the page:

  • begin the list on a new page at the end of your paper
  • use 1" margins
  • continue the page numbers of the text (i.e., if your paper ends with page 15, the list should start at page 16) and place in the upper right-hand corner a 1/2" from the top and flush with the right margin
  • center the Works Cited title
  • double space within and between entries
  • if an entry is longer than one line, indent the subsequent line 1/2" (hanging indent)
  • arrange the list alphabetically

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations (the bibliography) followed by a descriptive summary and evaluation of the source (the annotation). The annotation should inform the reader with a brief summary of the item, an evaluation of the information, and finally, a reflection on it's usefulness to your research project.


See Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) website for examples as well as the example below:

Gayton, J.T. (2008). Academic libraries: "social" or "communal?" The nature and future of academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(1), 60-66. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2007.11.001

Gayton (2008), a true advocate for quiet, communal study space in libraries, argues that the trend in creating social spaces (non-quiet, group activity) is seriously endangering libraries. He shares data of decreasing circulation and reference transactions, counterbalanced against rising gate counts that he suggests are due to patrons wishing to study alone. This idea is somewhat "the old becoming new again", but is refreshing in its candor. The commons movement caught on quickly, perhaps too quickly, and at the expense of those who value traditional, quiet study. It is likely that a balance that respects all learning and collaboration styles is necessary for a successful and welcoming 21st century library's physical space.

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 in the Reference Collection on the main floor, organized by the call numbers below.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations in the body of your paper point the reader to specific sources listed on your bibliography. They usually include the author’s last name or title (if no author is given) and the relevant page numbers (if given). See examples below. For more information on in-text citations, refer to the appropriate citation style manual on the page.

In-text Citation example, MLA Style

Author's name in text
has expressed this concern (118-21).

Author's name in parenthetical reference
This concern has been expressed (Author 118-21).

Chicago Manual of Style has two methods of citation: Notes/Bibliography (NB) and Author/Date (AD).

Student paper example using Notes/Bibliography (courtesy of Purdue OWL)

Student paper example using Author/Date (courtesy of Purdue OWL)

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