Citing Sources

How to cite your sources in MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian, or SBL format.

What's in this Guide

This guide provides examples and links to useful sites and tips on how to format or find help formatting your citations in your academic papers.  Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of this guide. 

  • MLA: Modern Language Association; style most commonly used for undergraduate work
  • APA: American Psychological Association; style is recommended for graduate studies
  • Chicago/Turabian: style is most commonly used in graduate work in the humanities
  • SBL: Society of Biblical Literature; style most commonly used within Biblical Theological Studies

Why Should I Cite?

Citation: The action of citing or quoting any words or written passage, a quotation.

- Oxford English Dictionary

Why cite sources?

Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used.  Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit. 

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas.   Citations provide evidence for you arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that your have sought out and considered a variety of resources.  In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to one author, agreeing with another author, and then adding your own voice to the conversation.  Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you preformed and discover what led you to your original contribution.