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How to Cite Sources in Your Research Paper: APA/MLA

A guide on how to cite your sources and avoid plagiarism

How to Cite Using APA Style

APA Style

What is it? Developed by the American Psychological Association, APA style is widely used, not only in the social science and management but also in the humanities and natural sciences.

How do I do it? There are two parts to APA citation: in-text reference and the list of references at the end. See The Purdue Online Writing Lab for detailed guidelines.

Don't forget - you must cite your source both 1. In-Text and in a 2. Reference List

1. In-text Citation

The in-text component of APA citation includes two main elements: the author's last name and the year of the publication (e.g., Ross, 1997), and a third: the page number, whenever quoting directly or paraphrasing a specific section of the text (e.g., Ross, 1997, p. 2). For more than one author, list the names in the order they appear in the source. 

2. Reference List 

The list of references on your paper's last page is titled "References" and should be arranged in alphabetical order by first authors' last names. 

Useful APA Links

APA Cheat Sheet

How to Cite Using MLA Style

Don't forget that you must cite your sources both in-text and at the end of your paper in a Works Cited/Reference Page/Bibliography.

 1. Citations within Your Paper

 MLA Style uses brief citations within the text of a paper immediately after a quote, a reference to a source, or a paraphrase. The brief citation gives the author and page number of the source you are referring to, allowing readers to locate the full citation in your Works Cited list.

Pythagoras invented the monochord (Smith 182).
Smith believed that Pythagoras invented the monochord (182).

In both examples, the complete information about the work by Smith would appear in the Works Cited list after Smith's name. If you cite more than one work published by Smith, you would distinguish the works by including a shortened version of the title: e.g. (Smith, Survey 182).

  • More basics on in-text citations via Purdue OWL.

2. Works Cited List/Bibliography

The alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of your paper contains more information about all of the sources you've cited allowing readers to refer to them, as needed. The main characteristics are:

  • The list of Works Cited must be on a new page at the end of your text
  • Entries are arranged alphabetically by the author's last name or by the title if there is no author
  • Titles are italicized (not underlined) and all important words should be capitalized
  • Entries are double-spaced (for the purposes of this page, single-spacing is used)
  • Each entry must include the publication medium. Examples include: Print, Web, DVD, and Television.

  • More basics on creating a Works Cited page via Purdue OWL 

Useful MLA Links