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How to Cite

Learn about how to use different citation styles and the bibliographic management tools that can help you manage them. Covers APA, Vancouver, Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote, Refworks, and more.

Why cite?

Citing provides a connection to the original source of information and credit to the authors for their work. It also sets apart your ideas from others' ideas.

Citations allow you:

  • To emphasize your original work and show support for your ideas from other sources
  • To show your readers the amount of research you have done
  • To keep track of all the resources you have used
  • To give credit to the other authors or creators
  • To give your readers information on where to find the documents you have used
  • To avoid plagiarism
  • To avoid any legal action.

Parts of a citation

Citations include information that helps the reader to identify the source of ideas or statements and refer to them as necessary.

The key parts of a citation include:

  • author name(s)
  • title of work
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (articles and serials)

Other elements included depend on the format of the resource and the style you are using. It might include:

  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier, used as a persistent identifier for online resources)
  • Link to resource
  • Source title
  • Database
  • Date of retrieval

Different citation styles will arrange these parts in different manners. For example:

APA: Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

AMA: Author AA, Author BB, Author CC. Title of article. Abbreviated title of periodical. Year;volume number(issue number):pages.