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Plagiarism: Citation Styles

What is Plagiarism and how can you avoid it?


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


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 Maag's Citation Guide for guides to each style with examples.


Check out Maag's Citations Tools Guide for tips on using many citation-generating programs.

This ranking of bibliography and citation applications below was taken directly from the Instructify website:

1. BibMe: This is by far, the best citation website out there. It’s not only the best, but it’s also the easiest. BibMe lets you search by ISBN, author, and title. You can format your own citation for books, journals, periodicals, websites, whatever you need. It has an autofill function to save time, and works with most common formations such as MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc. and other various styles.

2. Citation Machine: You can’t search by ISBN on this citation application, but you can do just about everything else. Citation Machine has almost all of the features that BibMe has with a great user interface. It’s free, simple, straightforward, and hard to beat.

3. EasyBib: This citation application isn’t entirely free, unless you’re doing MLA citations, but it’s still definitely worth it. If you’re using a different type of style guide, then you may have to pay in order to use it. Otherwise, it’s quite similar to the other citation applications on this list.

4. OttoBib: OttoBib works best for books, and that’s why it takes the ISBN as input to get started with a citation. If you’re looking to cite something that isn’t a book or you don’t have the ISBN, it may be a good idea to find a different tool. However, if you’re citing a book and you have the ISBN, this tool can be quite helpful.

5. This is an excellent application for quickly citing websites and books, newspapers, journals, and more. It’s simple and intuitive. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but mostly everything you could want in a citing tool for the most popular media formats.