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Working with citations

Last Updated: 28-Aug-2013

This guide is designed to help you understand what citations are and how you use them.

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Citations and Style Manuals

Citations/references/footnotes are the way scholars indicate what resources they have used and give credit to the work/ideas of other scholars.  Publishers and instructors will require that your citations be in a particular format--and there are many.  Fortunately, a few will suffice for much of your work.  Here are some of the more popular ones:

Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
The Chicago Manual of Style is used by many publishers and disciplines such as history.
7th ed. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009.
Green Library » Information Center: Reference » LB2369 .G531 2009
The MLA Handbook is popular in the humanities.
6th ed. Washington, DC : American Psychological Association, c2010.
Green Library » Information Center: Reference » BF76.7 .P83 2010
The Publication Manual of the APA is often used in the social sciences.

You will find that these works also offer many other wonderful suggestions to help you in your writing.

More information

For more information about citing see the Plagiarism section of the Stanford University Honor Code and Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Harvesting Citations

Searchworks and many other databases you will use allow you to get a simple citation by using a "CiteThis" feature or gather more information by using a Send to/Export feature to send records to bibliographic management tools such as Refworks or EndNote.  You can also use resources such as Zotero or Mendeley to gather information including citations.  For more on these, see the guide to Bibliography Management.