Skip to Main Content
HVCC logo and library name

Cite Your Sources:

Tools for creating bibliographies in MLA, APA, Chicago, and other styles.

Citations are like road maps to the source of the information.

Map Image - Copyright Free Images

Image credit:

What is a citation?

Citations are what you find in bibliographies. Cite any idea or quote that comes from resources that you used in your research. It will provide your reader with the information needed to identify your source.

A citation of a book generally includes: author(s), title, publisher, date.

A citation of an article generally includes: author(s), article title, magazine title, volume, pages, and date.

Citations for web documents and articles from databases may include a URL and the date the information was accessed.

Why cite sources?

It's important to cite sources you use in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information.
  • To be a responsible student by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas.
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors.
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list.

“Citing Sources: Overview.” MIT Libraries, 2017,

Which citation style should I use?

Use MLA style for classes in the humanities or if  your instructor recommends it. MLA has been updated to the 9th edition. Make sure you use the version required by your professor.

Use APA style for classes in the social sciences of if your instructor recommends it.  APA is up to a 7th edition.

Use Chicago for classes in history or if your instructor recommends it. Chicago is up to a 17th edition.

Use ASA for classes in sociology if your instructor recommends it.

Use Vancouver for classes in the health fields if your instructor recommends it.

What is a bibliography?

A bibliography is a list of source materials used or consulted in the preparation of a work or are referred to in the text.


Example Bibliography

Sample Annotated Bibliographies