Citing Sources For Research Papers

This guide provides basic guidelines and examples for common citation styles used at Davidson College. When citing sources, always defer to the citation style required by your department or professor. You may need to consult thefull style manualor consult a librarian for complex citation questions.

Note: Throughout this guide you will find examples of how to cite online sources (ebooks, online journal articles, etc.). These rules are subject to change when citation styles are revised, so be sure to consult the most recent edition of a given citation manual.

  • AAA

    (American Anthropological Association). Used exclusively in anthropology. Based on the Chicago Manual of Style.

  • ACS

    (American Chemical Society) Specialized citation style used in chemistry.

  • AMA

    (American Medical Association) Citation style used primarily in medical writing.

  • APA

    (American Psychological Association) Used primarily in psychology and sociology.

  • Chicago: Notes & Bibliography

    (Documentation I) Used primarily in the humanities, especially in history. The Turabian style is based on the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

  • Chicago: Author-Date

    (Documentation II) Used primarily in the social sciences, especially economics and political science. Refer to this section for citing in APSA style (American Political Science Association) because APSA is adapted from the Chicago Author-Date style.

  • CSE-CBE

    (Council of Science Editors, formerly Council of Biology Editors) Used in various science disciplines, including physical and life sciences.

  • MLA

    (Modern Language Association) Used primarily in English and the humanities.

  • Davidson College Archival Sources

  • Style Manuals & Guides

  • Annotated Bibliographies

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.

 

Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases. 

 

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

 

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. Choose an appropriate style guide for your needs.  Here is an example of an article citation using four different citation styles.  Notice the common elements as mentioned above:

Author- R. Langer

Article Title - New Methods of Drug Delivery

Source Title - Science

Volume and issue - Vol 249, issue 4976

Publication Date - 1990

Page numbers- 1527-1533

 

American Chemical Society (ACS) style:

Langer, R.New Methods of Drug Delivery.Science 1990, 249,1527-1533.

IEEE Style:

R. Langer, "New Methods of Drug Delivery,"Science, vol. 249, pp. 1527-1533, SEP 28, 1990.

American Psychological Association  (APA) style:

Langer, R.(1990). New methods of drug delivery. Science, 249(4976),1527-1533.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style:

Langer, R. "New Methods of Drug Delivery."Science249.4976(1990): 1527-33.

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