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Citing Sources

Guidelines and formats for citing references.

Citation Styles

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • APA (American Psychological Association) used in the sciences & social sciences · in print · online
  • Chicago  · in print · online /  Turabian (simplified Chicago style) · in print · online used in humanities, social & natural sciences 

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) used in literature & other humanities · in print · online


  • ACE (Council of Science Editors) used in the sciences · in print 

  • ACS (American Chemical Society) · in print · online
  • APA (American Psychological Association) used in the sciences & social sciences · in print · online

Additional Resources

  • Citing Government Publications · in print · online
  • Citing Music Sources  · online
  • A Pocket Style Manual - in print
  • Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles - in print
  • Purdue OWL Research and Citation Resources - online

Chicago or Turabian?

Chicago and Turabian: The Same But Different

Chicago and Turabian styles are nearly identical.

Kate Turabian, the dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago for over 30 years, developed her guide for students and researchers writing papers, theses, and dissertations. Her manual is based on the University of Chicago Press's Manual of Style and simplifies and departs from it in a few places. "Turabian," as her guide is usually called, synthesizes the rules most important for students' papers and other scholarly research not intended for publication, and omits some of the publishing details and options that "Chicago" provides. 

The Turabian Guide has been updated and revised many times over the years, most recently in 2007.  The print manual provides guidance for developing a thesis argument, paraphrasing and quoting, and formatting tables and other data. It presents some of the same material as the Chicago Manual in a clearer manner.

For information about citing sources within your paper according to the Chicago Manual of Style, please consult that guide directly. Documentation methods differ according to subject discipline, and some rules are complex. Multiple copies of the Chicago Manual of Style and Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers are available at the Main Library.

The library also subscribes to the Chicago Manual of Style online:

Why cite your sources?

Why cite?

  • Give credit to the ideas, words and works of others
  • Give your readers the information necessary to find your sources
  • Avoid plagiarism

The purpose of citing your sources is to provide your reader with the information they need in order to find and read the sources themselves. Regardless of the citation style or type of resource, the elements in a citation always include author name, title of the work, and date of publication. Book citations include publisher name and location. Journal, magazine, and newspaper articles include the journal, magazine, or newspaper title, volume and page number, and date; and online sources often include the URL where the document is located and the date the item was retrieved and/or a DOI (digital object indentifier).

What Does Style Have To Do With It?

There are several different styles, or formats, that you can use to cite your sources. These styles are created and developed by scholarly organizations and publishers, and aim to provide clarity and consistency. The preferred citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved.

Check with your professor to make sure you use the required style for a given assignment. In some cases, you will be told that there's no preference, as long as you're consistent. In those cases you can choose the format that works best for you, as long as you use the same style for all types of sources throughout your paper. Chicago/Turabian is a good choice for a general, all-purpose citation guide.