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Avoiding Plagiarism: Citation Styles

What is Plagiarism and how can you avoid it?

Citation Guides

See Maag's Citation Guides LibGuide for instructions and examples on all the major citation styles.

Documenting Sources, by Diana Hacker

The booklet, Documenting Sources, is published as a supplement to accompany handbooks by Diana Hacker. The models in the booklet follow the guidelines set forth in the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (Ref PN147 .G444 2008). In the booklet you will find models for both in-text citations and works cited entries beginning on page 3 and a model research essay on pages 46–55.

  How to Know What Style Guide to Use

For most research you will do at the university, you will need to document the sources you use in a particular style for each assignment. The style will usually be specified by your professor or the discipline in which you are working. For example, psychology and many other social science disciplines use the American Psychological Association (APA) style, whereas the humanities disciplines usually use the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style for citing resources. If your professor does not specify a style guide or manual to follow, ask which one you should use.  Links to both the APA and MLA manuals can be found on the left-hand side of this page.

Several online tools are available to help you format your endnotes and bibliographies; see the "Citation Generators" box to the immediate right for examples.

You can also use our Citation Styles LibGuide (see the link on the left) for guides to each style with tons of examples.

Citation Generators

Check out our Citations Tools LibGuide for tips on using many citation-generating programs.

This ranking of bibliography and citation applications below was taken directly from the Instructify website (2009).

5. Word 2007: Number five on our list really isn’t an application at all, as it’s part of Microsoft Word 2007. While not everybody has a copy of Word 2007, the folks that do don’t even have to leave their word processor to generate a professional-looking bibliography. If you don’t use Word, check out the next four apps.

4. OttoBib: OttoBib is like Saran Wrap — its best feature is its worst. If you know a book’s ISBN number, that’s all you need for OttoBib to build a citation for you in the format you need. If you don’t, or if you’re citing something that’s not a book, you’ll need to find another application. However, OttoBib’s simplicity is useful enough for you and your students to bookmark come term-paper time.

3. EasyBib: EasyBib goes far beyond the usual assortment of sources. It lets you easily cite federal testimony, photographs, emails, patents, paintings, executive orders, and literally dozens more types of documents. Unless you’re trying to cite something scrawled on the back of a napkin at Chili’s, EasyBib has you covered. It too lets you search by ISBN. EasyBib loses points, however, for only citing MLA format for free — if you’re writing in APA or Chicago style, you’ll have to pay up nine bucks per year, which isn’t a lot, but you can find other apps to cite those formats for free.

2. Citation Machine: Though you can’t search by ISBN, that’s about the only thing Citation Machine doesn’t do. Just enter basic info like the title, author, publisher, type of work, all that stuff, and Citation Machine will give you your citation in whatever format you require. It’s simple, straightforward, free, and as a bonus, its name tells you exactly what it does (something that’s always worth a few points in my book).

1. BibMe: There can be only one number one, and BibMe is it. BibMe is the easiest citation app out there, incorporating many of the best features of its competitors. It lets you search by ISBN, title, or author. You can format your citation for books, journals, newspapers, periodicals, the web, whatever you need. It has an autofill function to save time. BibMe will format your bibliography for MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian, then export it all to Microsoft Word for easy insertion into a research paper. If there’s a better bibliography application out there, it probably does your taxes or something, too.