Quick Reference Style Guides

Two-page summaries of the most common types of citations in four major citation styles. For more detailed guidance, scroll down for more links.

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) Works Cited Quick Reference Guide. (Note: MLA issued the 8th edition of its Handbook in April 2016. For the previous edition, see MLA7.)

  • APA (American Psychological Association) References Quick Reference Guide

  • SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Bibliography Quick Reference Guide 

  • CMS (Chicago Manual of Style) Chicago Quick Reference Guide (Note: This guide represents the Notes-Bibliography citation system from Chicago Manual of Style. For guidance on using the Author-Date system, see chapter 15 of the manual.)

Cite the Bible

  • How to cite the Bible in MLA, APA, SBL, or CMS style (See here for guide including MLA 7th ed.)

Citation Generators/Managers

Many software tools are available to help you create bibliographic citations. See citation tools for links to some tools that you may find helpful. Always be sure to double-check any citations created by a citation generator against the appropriate style handbook or a reliable guide.

Additional Resources for Style and Formatting

Styles of formatting and citation, whether MLA, APA, or Chicago, provide a platform for academic dialogue within a discipline. The various style guides all explain how to incorporate sources responsibly into one's own researched writing. They all provide a means for the reader to locate and retrieve information about published works that are cited in an academic paper.
Style guides vary with the research emphases of each discipline. Though the differences between the style guides may seem minor, they reflect important aspects of a discipline. For example, in the social sciences, the recentness of a publication often determines its relevance and authority; therefore, in APA style (used in the social sciences), the date is included in the citation within the essay as well as in the references section. In MLA style (used in the humanities), where the recentness of the research is less crucial, the date is not included in a parenthetical reference, but only on the works cited page.


Quick tip for telling MLA7 works cited entries from MLA8 works cited entries: in MLA7, you indicate the medium of publication for an item (e.g., "Print." or "Web."); in MLA8 you leave this out but usually include the URL or DOI for online sources. Many instructors don't care which edition you follow as long as you're consistent, but some may have a preference. When in doubt, ask. If you use a citation generator to create works cited entries in MLA, be sure to proofread them to make sure all of entries are in the same style. 




Other Style Guides

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