Skip to main content

Citation Guide: Home

A short guide on using the different citation styles for research work.

Need More Help?

For additional assistance with any of these Citation Styles, consult our Reference Desk or call:

  • Reference Desk (415-485-3252) or
  • text the library @ 415-689-9990  or
  • e-mail us a message @


Some of this LibGuide template was created by Scott Pfitzinger, Information Commons & Technology Librarian at Butler University, Indianapolis, IN. As time progresses more of it has been modified and edited by Suzanne Roybal, Reference & Instruction Librarian at Dominican University of California.


This LibGuide was created to assist students, faculty and staff in using a specific citation style and compiling bibliographies. This guide uses books, articles, websites, online articles, online books and other materials.  There are tabs for the different styles of formatting, so select the style guide necessary for your writing. 

Under the Citation Guide Examples tab, there are links to various colleges and their citation guides. Some of these guides offer more extensive examples of citations.  For example:        

OWL Citation Guide Table

If you need further assistance, please e-mail, text, IM or come by and speak to a reference librarian, we are here to help.

Research Papers

"The purpose of a research paper is to synthesize previous research and scholarship with your ideas on the subject. Therefore, you should feel free to use other persons' words, facts, and thoughts in your research paper, but the material you borrow must not be presented as if it were your own creation."

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Edition. New York: MLA. 55. Print.


There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved. At Dominican University for example:

  • MLA style is typically used by the Humanities such as English
  • APA style is often used by Education, Nursing, Science, Occupational Therapy, Business and Psychology
  • Chicago/Turabian is generally used by History, History of Art, and some of the Fine Arts

Check with your professor to make sure you use the required style. And whatever style you choose, BE CONSISTENT!

Why Do You Need to Cite

Whenever you use an idea, thought or quote from someone else or another source, you must give credit for the idea to the original author.  If you do not give credit, you will be committing plagiarism, a serious offense in any academic community.  The reader of your research or paper will think, incorrectly, that you have come up with that creative, original idea yourself.  To ensure copyright use these tools to credit and let the reader know the source of your thoughts and research.


The ideas or research of another person or entity.

Direct quotations that are written, spoken, from a website, seen on a blog, interviews etc.

Paraphrasing of written or spoken material

Information that is not common knowledge

Subject Librarian

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License