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Citation Style Guide

This guide was created to provide basic instruction on commonly-used citation styles used across CVTC educational programs and courses.

Welcome to the Citation Styles Guide

Getting started:  How to use this guide

This guide was created to assist with selecting and correctly using a citation style while writing a paper.  There are many different styles to choose from when working on a paper.  Many fields of study prefer one particular style. Always check with your instructor or syllabus when in doubt!

What is a citation and citation style?

  • citation is a way of giving credit to individuals for their creative and intellectual works that you used to support your research. A citation can also be used to locate particular sources and combat plagiarism. Typically, a citation can include the author's name, date, location of the publisher, journal title, or DOI (Digital Object Identifer).
  • citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting.

How do I choose a citation style?

There are many different ways of citing resources from your research. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, Nursing, and Sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used in English courses and other humanities courses
  • Chicago style is generally used by History and sometimes others social sciences

Why is proper citation important?

When you quote or refer to another person's words or ideas in your writing, you must credit your source with a proper citation. Why is proper citation important?

  • Citation gives due credit to the sources you have used to support your own work.
  • Citation helps others access the helpful sources you have used.
  • Citation allows you to maintain your own academic integrity by protecting yourself against charges of plagiarism. Plagiarism involves taking credit for words or ideas that are not your own.