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Citation Style Guides: Home

This guide provides information on the major forms of citation styles.

GW Writing Resources

Citation Help!

Citation Managers let you

  • Import citations from the catalog and databases
  • Store and organize citations
  • Add research notes
  • Format in-text citations
  • Create bibliographies in different citation styles

Citation Style Guides show you how to

  • Document the sources you are using in your work
  • Create citations manually for all types of sources
  • Embed quotations and paraphrases properly in your text

Getting Started

A Citation Style Guide is a handbook that describes a standardized format for citing the resources and references you used in your research papers, theses, articles, etc.

Don't know which citation style to use? In general, it's best to ask your instructor. Below are the most common citation styles for various disciplines. 

  • Turabian - simplified version of Chicago style. Cross-disciplinary.
  • APA - psychology, education, and the other social sciences.
  • MLA - literature, arts, and humanities.
  • Chicago - one of the most comprehensive citation styles, with explicit guidance for most types of source. It is used in many different disciplines.


What is a citation?

A citation is the information needed to locate the article (or book).

For articles, a complete citation generally includes:

  • The author's name 
  • The title of the article 
  • The name of the magazine or journal in which it is located 
  • The volume number of the magazine or journal (and sometimes the issue number) 
  • The page numbers on which the article is located 
  • The date when the article was published

For books, a complete citation generally includes:

  • The author's name 
  • The title of the book 
  • The publication date
  • The city in which the book was published 
  • The book's publisher

Citations are also used to help readers of your papers find the information you used.

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