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Citation Station Online

Which style should I use?

Lycoming faculty were surveyed in the spring of 2015 to determine which styles are generally used in their academic disciplines and the list below is a good starting point. If you are unsure which style to use, it is best to ask your professor which style they prefer - their preferred style may also be indicated in the syllabus or in the assignment guidelines. In any case, it is important to be consistent with the style you use throughout your assignment.

Styles by discipline (2015 professor survey):

Academic Discipline Style
Anthropology Chicago (Author/Date)
Archeology Dr. Johnson: SBL (Society of Biblical Literature)
Art  Any, be consistent
Astronomy and Physics AIP (American Institute of Physics)
Biology Ask your professor
Business Ask your professor
Chemistry ACS (American Chemical Society)
Computer Science ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
Corporate Communication APA (American Psychological Association)
Criminal Justice APA (American Psychological Association)
Economics Any, just be consistent
Education APA (American Psychological Association)  
English MLA (Modern Language Association)
History Turabian
Languages MLA (Modern Language Association)
Math Any, just be consistent or APA
Music Turabian or MLA
Philosophy Ask your professor
Political Science Ask your professor
Psychology APA (American Psychological Association)
Religion Dr. Johnson and Dr. Knauth: SBL (Society of Biblical Literature). Dr. Heyes: Chicago or MLA . Other professors, ask.
Sociology ASA (American Sociological Association)
Theatre MLA (Modern Language Association)

Why Cite Your Sources?


Citing your sources will give credit to the original author or producer of the information you are quoting and paraphrasing. Giving recognition is important in every context.

Traceability of your claims

Citing the right way makes it possible for those who read your work to trace the information you used to produce it. It gives you credibility and improves your ability to contribute your voice to scholarly discussions.

Avoiding plagiarism

Citing will allow you to avoid unintentional plagiarism. Read the Student Handbook's policy on academic dishonesty to see what constitutes plagiarism.

The Basics

Conforming to citation styles can seem daunting, but it becomes simpler if you remember to look for the basics:

  • Who: author or creator
  • When: date of creation/publication
  • What: title, chapter title
  • Where: publisher, website, identifier (URL, DOI)

Remember that this information can look different depending on your source's type (video, book, article, tweet, etc.).

Using a Citation Manager

What are citation managers?

Citation managers are tools that help you collect, organize, and cite your sources. They can also be used for team research projects to share citations and organize them in a single place. Remember that those tools are helpful, but not perfect. Check the citations they generate for mistakes!

Which one should I use?

You can use any citation manager you are comfortable with, like Zotero, EndNote, or Mendeley. We recommend Zotero: you can create a free account, download Zotero and install an MS Word add-in and a browser connector. Contact a Librarian or use the quick guide below to get started (credits: Jason Puckett at Georgia State University Library).

Just need a quick bibliography?

ZoteroBib will quickly generate a citation or bibliography. Choose your citation style and paste in a DOI, Title, or another identifier to create your bibliography.