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Citation Styles & Tools: Citation Styles: The Basics

A quick guide for MLA, Chicago, APA, and other citation styles.

Quick Citation Generators

ProQuest and Ebsco databases will also format the citations for you when you save or print them.

Citation Managers/Tools

Use the tools below to format and store your research sources.

NOTE: Though these tools are very helpful, they are not always completely accurate, so double check that citations are correctly formatted.

What's the Difference?

Created by:

Karalyn Skinner

Ellis Reference Intern

What is a Citation?

A citation is the basic information required to identify or locate a specific publication (book, article, video, etc.). Citations are found in print indexes, databases, and catalogs to identify resources. They are also included in research papers, articles, and books to reference text that has been quoted or a source that has been used as an authority.

Parts of Common Citations:


  • Author(s) or Editor(s)
  • Book Title
  • Edition
  • Publication Date
  • Publisher and Place of Publication


  • Article Title
  • Author(s)
  • Page Numbers
  • Periodical Title
  • Publication Date
  • Volume and Issue


Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism (interactive tutorial) 
Plagiarism Resources

Print Citation Guide