Citation Styles

There are dozens of ways of citing sources. The citation style you choose sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved, or it can be personal preference, or a mixture of both. Here are some of the most common. Explore these and choose one for your paper.

  • APA (American Psychological Association) – used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) –  used by the Humanities
  • Chicago/Turabian – generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts.I prefer Chicago, but you should choose the style that best suits your needs and interests. The most important things about citations styles are:
  • Be consistent. Don’t switch from APA to MLA to some unknown style in the middle of a paper.
  • Make sure your reader is able to find your sources easily if s/he needs to.
  • ALL citation styles require paying attention to minute details like where commas and periods go, what is underlined or italicized, where quotation marks belong. Put on your System 2 accountant hat for this one!