The Library

Different Citation Styles

There are several widely recognized citation styles that writers use to credit sources, including the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), Turabian, and Chicago styles. Unless your teacher indicates otherwise, you should follow MLA guidelines for citing sources.

This site provides information on the most commonly used citations.  The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition, 2009) contains the complete guidelines for citations and is available the main desk of the Library.

Two Types of MLA Citations

Fully documenting your sources in the MLA style requires constructing two different types of citations:

  1. First, if you quote, paraphrase, or make reference to someone else's work, you must credit the original creator within the body of your report using an in-text / parenthetical citation.
  2. Second, you must compile your citations into a bibliography - an alphabetized and specially formatted list which appears at the end of your paper. 

Three Common Bibliographic Formats

The term bibliography is often used generically, despite the fact that there are multiple bibliographic formats.  Ask your teacher which of these three formats you should use for your project:

  • Bibliography or Works Consulted List 
    • alphabetized list of all sources used in your research 
  • Works Cited List 
    • bibliography listing only sources which are cited within the body of your report.
  • Annotated Bibliography or Annotated Works Cited List 
    • bibliography containing a brief description of each source as well as an explanation of its relevance to your research topic