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Citation Styles

Why Do We Cite?

Scholarship is a Conversation

Scholars and researchers are in constant conversation with each other via citations. A citation allows people who read your research to find the sources you used, learn more, and/or verify your information


  •  They reflect the work you put into finding and exploring your sources
  • They help readers understand the context of your argument
  • They acknowledge the authors who contributed to your work
  • They illustrate your learning process and draw attention to the originality and legitimacy of your own ideas

How to Read a Citation

Citations may look different depending on their style and content.


Most have a few consistent elements:


  • Author Name(s)
    • Who made this?

  • Title
    • What is this called?

  • Source
    • Where did it come from?
    • Where was it published?

  • Date of Publication
    • When was this made?

  • Specific Identifying Information
    • How do we find it? 
    • This information will depend on what kind of resource you’re citing
      • URLs, DOIs, edition, etc. 
Some Citation Examples



  • Salati, D. (2022). Hot dog (First ed.). Alfred A. Knopf. 


  • Salati, Doug. Hot Dog. First ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2022.


  • Salati, Doug. Hot Dog. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2022.

When to Use a Citation


Are you quoting two or more consecutive words from a source? Then the original source should be cited and the words or phrase placed in quotes.



Even if you put it in your own words, when an idea or information comes from another source you must credit that source.


General vs. Unfamiliar Knowledge

Accepted common knowledge doesn't need to be cited. But if you doubt whether your information is common knowledge or not, cite it.

In Text vs. Bibliography

In-Text Citations
  • in the body of your work
  • signals when you're quoting or referring to sources
  • paired with full citations
  • Ex. (Salati, 2022)
Bibliography Citations
  • at the end of your work
  • also called Works Cited or References
  • provides readers full details on where to find the source
  • Ex. Salati, D. (2022). Hot dog (First ed.). Alfred A. Knopf.

Citations in Start My Research

Catalog listing for book "Hot Dog" with arrow pointing to circled quote mark icon in the upper right corner. Select to open citation dialog box

Here is an example of a Start My Research record.

In the upper right corner is a blue quotation mark icon. Select this to open up a citation dialog box.

Next, select the drop down menu under "Choose a Citation Format" and choose the citation style you want.

citation generating dialog box with open drop down menu of offered citation styles including: APA, AMA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, IEEE, and more.

For this example, I'll choose APA format.

citation dialog box with generated APA format citation for "Hot Dog" by Doug Salati

The citation will generate under "Format Preview." All you have to do is copy and paste the citation into your document.


Important Note:

The citation generates based off of the information from the catalog.

This means if a record is in all caps, or misspelled, or has several long subtitles, that is what it will look like in the citation. Regardless of if that is what the citation style calls for.

Always double check the citation format is correct!