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Assistance with citing your sources for a research paper.


This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing a paper.

There are different styles which format the information differently, so select the tab for the style you need and take a look at some examples.

The citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • MLA style is typically used by the Humanities
  • APA style is often used by Education and Psychology
  • Chicago/Turabian is generally used by History, Business, and some of the Fine Arts

The style you use for your assignments is determined by your professor(s).  This information is usually found on your class syllabus.  If you're unsure, ask your professor which they prefer.

What is a Citation?

What is a citation? A citation....

1)  describes a book, journal article, website, or other published item

2)  gives credit to the originator of an idea, thus preventing plagiarism

3)  enables the reader to retrieve the item you refer to

4)  includes the author, title, source (publisher and place of publication or URL), and date

A citation manager is a tool which helps you to store, organize and output your citations in the format you prefer.

Websites with Useful Citing Engines

Research Papers

"The purpose of a research paper is to synthesize previous research and scholarship with your ideas on the subject. Therefore, you should feel free to use other persons' words, facts, and thoughts in your research paper, but the material you borrow must not be presented as if it were your own creation."

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Edition. New York: MLA. 55. Print.

An Introduction to MLA Containers

The Fair-Use Statue Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976.

The Fair-Use Statue Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use.
Excerpts from: Crewes, Kenneth. Fair-Use: Overview and Meaning for Higher Education.
I. Purpose
Congress favored nonprofit educational uses over commercial uses. Copies used in education, but made or sold at a monetary profit, may not be favored. Courts also favor uses that are "transformative," or that are not mere reproductions. Fair use is more likely when the copyrighted work is "transformed" into something new or of new utility, such as quotations incorporated into a paper, and perhaps pieces of a work mixed into a multimedia product for your own teaching needs or included in commentary or criticism of the original. For teaching purposes, however, multiple copies of some works are specifically allowed, even if not "transformative." The Supreme Court underscored that conclusion by focusing on these key words in the statute: "including multiple copies for classroom use."

II. Nature
This factor examines characteristics of the work being used. It does not refer to attributes of the work that one creates by exercising fair use. Many characteristics of a work can affect the application of fair use. For example, several recent court decisions have concluded that the unpublished "nature" of historical correspondence can weigh against fair use. The courts reasoned that copyright owners should have the right to determine the circumstances of "first publication." The authorities are split, however, on whether a published work that is currently out-of-print should receive special treatment. Fair use of a commercial work meant for the educational market is generally disfavored. Courts more readily favor the fair use of nonfiction, rather than fiction. Commercial audiovisual works generally receive less fair use than do printed works. A consumable workbook will most certainly be subject to less fair use than would a printed social science text.

III. Amount
Amount is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. No exact measures of allowable quantity exist in the law. Quantity must be evaluated relative to the length of the entire original and in light of the amount needed to serve a proper objective. One court has ruled that a journal article alone is an entire work; any copying of an entire work usually weighs heavily against fair use. Pictures generate serious controversies, because a user nearly always wants the full image, or the full "amount." On the other hand, a "thumbnail," low-resolution version of the image might be an acceptable "amount" to serve an education or research purpose. Motion pictures are also problematic, because even short clips may borrow the most extraordinary or creative elements. One may also reproduce only a small portion of any work, but still take "the heart of the work." This concept is a qualitative measure that may weigh against fair use.

IV. Effect
Effect on the market is perhaps even more complicated than the other three factors. Some courts also have called it the most important factor, although such rhetoric is often difficult to validate. This factor means fundamentally that if you make a use for which a purchase of an original theoretically should have occurred—regardless of your personal willingness or ability to pay for such purchase—then this factor may weigh against fair use. "Effect" is closely linked to "purpose." If your purpose is research or scholarship, market effect may be difficult to prove. If your purpose is commercial, then adverse market effect is often presumed. Occasional quotations or photocopies may have no adverse market effects, but reproductions of software and videotapes can make direct inroads on the potential markets for those works.

Need More Help?

For additional assistance with any of these Citation Styles, please ask for assistance at the Reference or Circulation Desks.

Writing assistance may be obtained at The Center for Writing and Critical Thinking, located in Jackson Hall. The Center for Writing and Critical Thinking serves the college community by providing support at all levels to students working to improve their proficiency at skills associated with college level reading and writing.

Citation Help within our WorldCat Discovery catalogue

Once you have selected a source from within WorldCat Discovery, use the Cite/Export button to add it to your bibliography by clicking on the style you're using (e.g., APA, MLA, etc) and then copying and pasting the resulting information into your text editor (e.g., MS Word, Open Office, etc.).

Capitalization in Foreign Language Titles

When adding a title that is in a foreign languge, follow these basic rules regardless of citation style:

For German, capitalize the first word and all nouns.

For French, capitalize THROUGH the first noun in the title.

For Italian and other languages, capitalize just the first word.

(NOTE: Always capitalize all proper nouns.)