How to Cite Resources


Citing resources is important in papers as it gives credit to any research used. For papers in social science fields, use American Psychological Association (APA), for papers in the humanities use Modern Language Association (MLA) and for liberal arts fields use the Chicago Manual of Style. These are the usual guides used for citations; you can use any citation style for your paper. The most common resources you should know how to cite are in-text citations, books, journals and web resources. MLA uses an author-page number system, APA uses an author-date system and Chicago uses a footnote bibliography system.

Things You'll Need

  • Resource

MLA style

  • Cite in-text with the author and the page number in parentheses. For example: (Smith, 92). List multiple authors in the order they appear in the resource.

  • Cite a book with the title, the author and publication information. For example: Smith, John. Citing Sources. Chicago: Random House Publishers, 2002, Print.

  • Cite a journal resource using the author, journal and article title, volume number, page number, issue number and publication year. For example: Jones, David. "Citing Resources." MLA Journal 3. 2 (2002): 24-26. Print.

  • Cite a web resource by including the author, title, publishing website, medium, publication date and access date. For example: Doe, Jane. Citing Research. Citation Rules, 13 April 2002. Web. 27 June 2011. You don't have to include the website in MLA format anymore but if you want, place it at the end of the citation.

APA style

  • Use the author's last name and the date of publication for in-text citations. For example: (Smith, 2002). Like with MLA format, list multiple authors in the order they are written on the research item.

  • Put the author's name, book title and publication information for a book citation. For example: Smith, John. (2002). Citing Sources. Chicago: Random House Publishing.

  • Use the author, publication year, journal and article title, page number, issue number and volume number for a journal citation. For example: Jones, D. (2002). Citing Resources. APA Journal, 62 (9), 272-282.

  • Use the author, publication date, title and URL in a web source citation. For example: Doe, J. (2003). Citing Research. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

  • Cite all entries using a footnote in-text and a bibliography entry. The primary differences between the footnote and the bibliography are that the footnote includes page numbers and puts the first name of the author first. The bibliography lists the author as last name, first name.

  • Cite books with the author's name, the publication information, the page number and the book title. For example: John Smith, Citing Resources (Chicago: Random Publisher, 2002), 75.

  • Cite journals using the title of the article, the title of the journal, the issue and volume number, the author's name, the date of publication and the page number. For example: Jane Doe, "Citing Sources," MLA Journal 23, no. 8 (2002): 238.

  • Cite web resources with the author's name, the title of the webpage and the website, the publication date, the access date and the URL. For example: David Jones, "Citing Research,", May 10, 2002. June 25, 2011.

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