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CITING SOURCES RESEARCH GUIDE: Citation Styles

This guide provides information on citing your sources in some of the most commonly used citation formats: APA, MLA, ASA and Chicago.

Citing Images

Citation Research

Quick Cite with EasyBib

EasyBib Update

Please note that EasyBib has changed owners and the way we’re able to provide access to our campus community has changed. Instructions for new and returning users are below and please see the librarians if you have any questions. 

You can also use ZoteroMendeley, or even MS Word’s built-in citation generator (along with our other tools like the APA Style Lite from theCiting Sources page) to produce citations. 

Access to EasyBiB EDU

New Students to EasyBiB EDU:

  • First click the blue “Sign up for EasyBib EDU” button on www.easybib.com/register
  • Then enter in the school’s coupon code - UniRichmond210

Existing EasyBiB Accounts:

  • Login to your existing EasyBib account via the EDU link
  • You will be prompted to enter in their coupon code [UniRichmond210], and will be upgraded to EDU access

Once you are logged in, click on the EasyBiB logo to return to the main page for a quick cite option.

Students with projects (bibliographies and notes) from prior EasyBib use will still have their work with them in EasyBib EDU.

Citing Sources - Getting Started

The tabs above for APA, MLA and Chicago/Turabian provide formatting examples for the most common types of print and electronic sources of information. If you need help constructing a citation for a publication type not listed, consult the appropriate style manual, a Reference librarian, or the Writing Center. The Writer's Web can help you with other stages of the writing process.

Styles of Documentation

Different fields of inquiry have developed different styles, or rules, of documentation. Fields in the humanities, like literature, religion, or philosophy, tend to prefer MLA style. History and some social sciences, like education, economics, or political science, prefer Turabian or Chicago style. Other social sciences and some sciences prefer APA.

You should consult with your professor to determine which style you should use for any project. There are whole books devoted to writing and documenting research reports in each of these styles. For details, you should refer to the following publications; there are copies of all of them on Reserve at the Reference Desk at Boatwright Library. To ensure that your citations conform to current practice, you should always use the most recent edition of any style manual. Scientific writing has many different formats, depending on the discipline.

Why Cite?

Reports of research and its findings are not considered valid and legitimate unless the researcher documents the resources and methods used to conduct that research. For a scientist, this entails a detailed account of materials and methods used in the lab or the field. For the social scientist, it may mean including copies of surveys, questionnaires, observations, or other methods used to gather information. For any researcher using verbal or graphic materials, regardless of the medium--print, Internet, film, photographic, microfiche, etc., it means indicating exactly what materials were used and what information came from which source.

The purpose of this documentation is to allow other persons interested in the subject of the research to verify information or to carry the inquiry further. Accurately and completely documenting the sources of information used in a research report or essay is therefore essential to the scholarly conversation that is the whole purpose of research.

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