Skip to main content


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

Quick Citing

Quick citing tools can help you get started, but ALWAYS check the Style Guides for specifics as you are responsible for accurately citing your sources.

(Click on Zotero tab for full Zotero options and Help)

MLA quick cite only.  You must register (free) to quick cite with other styles:

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

Citing Media

What is Plagiarism?

Citation Research

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 with citing sources, consult the appropriate style manual, a Reference librarian, or the Writing Center.

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, may 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 Citation Style Guides; there are copies of all of them on Reserve at the Reference Desk at Boatwright Library and in Reference (Research and Collaborative Area).

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.

Contact Us:

Boatwright Library

Boatwright Library
(804) 289-8459