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Giving credit to a book, article, speech or other resource is called citing or creating a citation and is required to avoid plagiarism. Your instructor may ask you to cite in MLA, APA, Chicago, or other formats.

Information Has Value

What is a Citation?

A citation gives information about where quoted or paraphrased information came from. When data, statistics, graphs, or charts are used, a citation tells the reader about where the research came from and who published it.

What Does a Citation Include?

This is a general list of what to expect when you are making a citation entry for a bibliography, works cited, or references list. 

  1. Creator(s) or Author(s) of the work
  2. Editor(s), Translator(s), or other contributors
  3. The Title
  4. Publisher
  5. Date of Publication
  6. Page Numbers (for printed works)

What Does a Citation Look Like? 

Larsen, Erik (w,p,i). "Revenge of the Sinister Six." Spider-Man v1 #18-23 (Jan.-Jun. 1992), Marvel Comics.

How Do I Make a Citation? 

Each citation will be different, so you will have to start with the type of citation you are making (MLA, APA, or Chicago), and then you should use a resource that helps you build the citation based on what kind of source you have (book, journal article, newspaper, documentary, etc.).

In Text Citation

What's an "In-Text Citation"?

When an author gives credit to another source, they have to immediately tell the reader this! That's what the in-text citation is. To find out the complete information about the source the author is mentioning, the reader has to find a list of citations at the end of the piece. The in-text citation will give enough information for the reader to find the citation at the end. 

What Does an In-Text Citation Look Like?

Red Skull may be the most dangerous villain in the Spiderman series and universe because "in the fires of war-torn Europe, in a world under assault by tyrants, he had emerged from nowhere to symbolize the terror of the times" (Larsen 14). 

APA, MLA, Chicago Formatting

Paper Formatting 

When an instructor says they want your assignment to be formatted in MLA or APA, they are referring specifically to the way the text appears on the page. You can adjust the formatting by using word processing software such as Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office, or Google Drive

Formatting includes: 

  • Font size
  • Font type
  • Margin spacing
  • Indent
  • Page headings
  • Page numbers
  • Title page
  • Header/Footer
  • Block quote
  • Hanging indent

What Does a Citation List, Works Cited, or References List Look Like? 

A completed research paper in MLA, APA, or Chicago will all have separate style rules. Use the links below for examples of what a completed paper looks like in each citation style.

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