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How to Cite Your Sources

A guide to some of the citation styles

How do I tell what style to use?

What style you cite in will depend largely on the requirements of your professor or the publication if you are publishing research.

Citation styles have developed out of various journals requiring specific citation formats. For example, AMA was developed for writers publishing in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). If you have a question about what citation style to use, just ask!

The three most popular styles are APA, Chicago, and  MLA. 

Citation Styles

The citation style to use is determined by your professor, or if you are submitting a manuscript, by the journal or publisher. However, each discipline tends to prefer certain styles.

Anthropology - use Chicago

Linguistics - use APA or MLA

Art - use Chicago or Turabian

Literature - use MLA

Biology - use CSE

Mathematics - use AMS

Business - use APA, Chicago or Harvard

Medicine - use AMA or NLM

Chemistry - use ACS

Music - use Turabian or Chicago

Communications - use MLA

Philosophy - use MLA or Chicago

Computing Science - use Chicago

Physics - use AIP

Education - use APA

Political Science - APSA

Electrical Engineering – use IEEE

Psychology - use APA

History - use Chicago or Turabian

Religion - use MLA or Chicago

International Studies - use APA, APSA, or Chicago

Sociology - use ASA

Journalism - use AP or APA

Theater - use MLA or Chicago

Can I Use a Citation Machine?

Technically yes.

Citation generators can be useful resources when you are working with citations. Unfortunately, these generators are often not 100% accurate and depend largely on the user inputting the information you correctly. Generators are not able to determine if you used the right case usage or edition. If you choose to use a citation machine always double-check your results!

Also, keep in mind that citation generators are often run by for-profit companies that may request payment for their services.