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Boatwright Memorial Library

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.

Zotero - Quick Start



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

Getting Started

Different disciplines have developed different styles, or rules, of documentation. Fields in the humanities, like literature, religion, or philosophy, tend to prefer MLA or Chicago styles. 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. Scientific writing has many different formats, depending on the discipline.

You should always consult with your professor to determine which style you should use. For details, refer to the individual style manuals; there are copies of all of them in Boatwright Library in the Research and Collaborative Area.

Why Cite?

Research 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 sources were used and where each piece of information came from.

The purpose of documenting your sources is so people interested in the subject of the research can verify information or refer to it for additional information or research. Accurately and completely documenting all sources of information used is therefore essential to the scholarly conversation — and foundational to research.

Citing Media

What is Plagiarism?

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Boatwright Library
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A DOI is a digital object identifier. Citation styles now incorporate DOIs for electronic sources when present.

If you are unable to locate the DOI for a source, try one of these sources: