When you research a topic you may use information from articles, books, or the Web to support your ideas. However, you must credit the original authors of these sources by citing them. To cite means that you state where you found the information so that others can find the exact item again. Using a standardized format for citing the resources you used in your research is vital. A serious reader, like your instructor, may want to look at your sources to learn more. Without an acceptable and widely understood citing style this would not be possible.
The two main styles for citing used at CCAC are the American Psychological Association (APA) style and the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.
APA is used for scientific and technical research. Instructors in behavioral science and hard science courses may require you to use APA style for your references or bibliography page.
MLA is used for research on general topics and literary criticism. Most instructors in English and Developmental Studies classes will require you to use MLA style.
A few instructors prefer the style presented in The Chicago Manual of Style. This style is used primarily in history and other social science research.
Check with your instructor about which style to use for your research.
Parenthetical citations are often placed within your paper to cite the source for your information. These parenthetical citations then refer to an alphabetical list of all of your sources that is attached to the end of your paper. Sometimes you may be required to use footnotes or endnotes.
- NoodleBib is an online "works cited" and "reference list" tool for both MLA and APA citation styles. This tool walks students through the process of documenting elements of a citation and allows students to generate MLA and APA bibliographies. Students can create folders and store citations for multiple projects. PDF Guide.
- APA Style 6th Edition [PDF] : APA In-Text Citation Quick Guide [PDF]
- MLA Style 7th Edition [PDF] : MLA In-Text Citation Quick Guide [PDF]
- Chicago Style 16th Edition [PDF] : Chicago Style Footnote Quick Guide [PDF]
- LEO: Literacy Education Online: MLA Parenthetical Documentation
- Purdue University: Online Writing Lab: Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format
- University of Wisconsin, Madison: The Writing Center: MLA
- University of Wisconsin, Madison: The Writing Center: APA