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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 integrety while you are doing your research.

Why Cite Your Sources?

When you use outside sources for a project, you're expected to cite them. If you don't, it's considered plagiarism. Your sources could be books, primary source documents, magazines or newspapers articles, or encyclopedia articles, but they may also include videos video, images, audio recordings, or websites. You must cite them in order to:

  1. Give credit to those whose work you've used.
  2. Establish that you've used authoritative sources in your research.
  3. Allow 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 assignment. 

The other tabs in this box offer online guides with sample citations for each style listed above, 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!

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 that you can copy and paste into your Works Cited list, References, or Bibliography. Not all content providers for INFOhio resources (World Book, EBSCO, Science Online, etc.) immediately update their citation helpers when citation styles change. Many content providers have not yet updated to MLA8. INFOhio is working with content providers like EBSCO and World Book and they are aware that the citation helpers need to be updated. As soon as they update their citation helpers, we will notify INFOhio users. Treat citation helpers as a starting point for a rough draft of a citation.

Citation Generators

You can also 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 are responsible for making sure your citations are correct. Check your citations against the style manual or the Purdue OWL cite.

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.



Library Staff