The first step to writing your citations is choosing a style to follow.
Always ask your instructors which style they prefer. As you take more and more classes in different departments though, you'll notice that certain disciplines tend to use certain styles. So, if you're taking English, chances are you'll need to use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. If you're taking Psych, you'll probably need to use the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Whichever style you choose, be sure to use it throughout your paper—be consistent.
Two techniques of citing and documenting sources that are usually required in academic writing are: 1) providing a list of citations at the end of the paper and 2) citing within the text of the paper. These two techniques are used together.
Provide a list of the complete citations for your sources at the end of your paper. Depending on the style you're using, these lists are sometimes called "Works Cited," "References," "Bibliography," or "Works Consulted" to name a few. And of course, formats for citations vary from style to style.
Cite within the text of your paper to help the reader quickly distinguish between your thoughts and words and thoughts of someone else. In-text citations also guide readers to the appropriate complete citation in the list at the end of your paper. Methods of citing sources within your text include using footnotes, endnotes, and parenthetical citations. Formats for these documentation techniques vary from style to style.
Almost all of our databases offer a citation generator. Use the links below to see screen shots of how to access them.