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INFOhio Citation Guide: Citing Sources (MLA, APA, etc.)

Technology makes it easy to copy and share ideas and information. Learn how to maintain academic integrity while you are doing your research.

Why Cite Your Sources?

When you use outside sources for a project, you need to cite them. Your sources could be books, primary source documents, magazines or newspapers articles, or encyclopedia articles, but they may also include videos, images, audio recordings, or websites. You must cite them to:

  1. Give credit to the people whose ideas or words you've used.
  2. Establish that you've used authoritative sources in your research.
  3. Help your readers to find your sources.

INFOhio Tools for Research

These tools include lots of helpful information on gathering, evaluating, and citing your sources.


Just getting started with your research? Try a search in ISearch.

Choose Your Required Citation Style from the Tabs Below

Different fields of study have different needs when it comes to citing sources. Because of that, there are numerous different citation styles. The most common citation styles are:

  • MLA (for arts and humanities)
  • APA (for social sciences)

Check with your teacher to find out which citation style is required for your project. 

The other tabs in this box link to online guides with sample citations for MLA and APA styles, along with information about additional resources.

INFOhio recommends that students consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) for free, online information on using MLA style:

You may be able to find the following books, the authorities on MLA style, in your school or public library:

INFOhio recommends that students consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) for free, online information on using APA style:

You may be able to find the following book, the authority on APA style, in your school or public library:


Get Your Citations Built for You!

Citation Helpers in INFOhio Resources

Many INFOhio resources have citation helpers. When you select a book or article, look for a link labeled Cite/Citation/Citing and click it to get a rough draft of a citation. Treat all citation helpers as a starting point for a rough draft of a citation.

Note: Not all content providers for INFOhio resources immediately update their citation helpers when citation styles change. EBSCO has updated their computer-generated citation helper for MLA (8th Edition) formatting standards. This update applies to all EBSCO databases and interfaces that use the EBSCO citation helper including Explora and ISearch. Information from EBSCO about MLA (8th Edition) is available here: Modern Language Associations 8th Edition. Science Online computer-generated citations from EasyBib are also based on MLA (8th Edition) formatting standards.


Citation Generators

Build your citations from scratch using a citation generator. These are a few free citation generators you could try.


Be Careful!

Computer-generated citations and citation helpers can be very good, but treat them like you would a rough draftYou (the student) are responsible for making sure your citations are correct. Check your citations against the style manual or the Purdue OWL site.

Is it a book, a book chapter, or an article?

To cite your source correctly, you need to know what kind of source it is. Play Citation Tetris, a computer game designed by Ohio academic librarian, Ken Irwin. Identify whether the citation block is for a book, book chapter, or article before it lands.




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