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Citation Styles Guide

A quick guide to common citation styles

How to Use This Guide

This guide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources for your academic assignments. Each page contains resources for a specific citation style used at St. Kate's. You'll find quick citation guides, tutorials, and links to the official citation style websites. Most of your citation issues can be addressed by using these resources

If you have specific citation questions, reach out to a librarian or to the Tutoring and Learning Center. They have peer tutors who can answer your citation questions as well.

You'll also find information about reference managers, like Zotero and Mendeley. These software programs are used to store and organize citations, and create bibliographies in your specific citation style. They can be huge time savers! See the Zotero and Mendeley guide for more information.

Why Should You Cite Your Sources?

  • To demonstrate academic integrity. Citations help distinguish which words and ideas are your own, and which are not. When you misrepresent your academic achievements by not giving credit to others, you are committing plagiarism. (To learn more, review the Acting With Integrity by Using Information Ethically tutorial or see our Preventing Plagiarism page). Documenting your sources provides you with the opportunity to use information ethically and honestly.

  • To acknowledge the work of others. By citing your sources, you are giving credit where it is due. You are acknowledging the hard work that has gone into producing research and the person(s) who performed that research. 

  • To provide credibility to your work and place your work in context. Providing accurate citations puts your work and ideas into an academic context. They tell your reader that you’ve done your research, and know what others have said about your topic. Not only do citations provide context for your work but they also lend credibility and authority to your claims. Quality academic writing is built upon the foundation of other scholars’ work. When you incorporate sources into your work, you position yourself within a broader scholarly conversation. Engaging with the intellectual work of other authors helps you develop your own ideas and perspectives.  

  • To help you and other researchers easily locate sources. Having accurate citations will help you keep track of the sources and information you use so that you can easily find your sources again. Using a standardized format also allows readers to locate the sources you have cited, and check them for accuracy and reliability.

How Do I Choose a Citation Style?

While there are hundreds of citation styles, the following seven styles are used at St. Kate's.

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used in the social sciences, nursing, education, occupational therapy, and business.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used in English, history, and humanities courses.
  • AMA  (American Medical Association) is used by the physical therapy, physician assistant, and nutrition programs.
  • Chicago and Turabian is used by the history and theology departments.
  • CSE (Council of Science Editors) is used by the biology department.
  • ASA (American Sociological Association) is used in sociology courses.

Your instructor should specify which citation style is to be used in a course. If you're not sure, ask! You may use multiple styles as an undergraduate. At the graduate level, your citation style will be determined by your academic discipline.

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