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Citation Styles: Home

Learn about different citation styles

What is citation?

There are many reasons to use citation; citing a source indicates that you took words, images, figures, etc. from another source. It is important to credit the individual(s) responsible for the work you are referencing. Citations are a way to identify a published work, whether it is a written document or artwork.

Citations include standard elements, as well as the information necessary to track down publications. Standard elements are:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • city of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different, depending on which citation style you are using. This libguide takes a look at the three most common citation styles.


Citation needed

Do not assume that English or Literature courses are the only ones requiring citation. You need to know where to look for citation help because the majority of courses require citation. Citation is not only necessary for college. Whenever you share information, it is necessary to use citation.


Common Knowledge

What is “common knowledge?”
If most people would know the information without looking it up, it is considered “common knowledge,” but cite it if you’re not sure.

Why citing is important

There are many reasons why it's important to cite sources used in your research:

  • To be responsible and credit other researchers and acknowledge their ideas
  • To let your reader know that you have conducted proper research
  • To avoid plagiarism
  • To provide the information your reader needs to track down the sources you used


Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic work. Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is theft.

Examples of plagiarism:

•Buying a paper from a research service
•Using a paper from a free term paper site
•Submitting someone else’s work without that person’s knowledge
•Submitting a paper written by someone else
•Copying a paper without acknowledging the source
•Paraphrasing materials from a source without proper acknowledgement
•Cutting and pasting from an Internet source without acknowledging the source
•Copying materials from a source, supplying proper documentation, but omitting quotation marks
•Submitting your paper in two different classes (self-plagiarism)

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