Skip to Main Content

Citing Sources

This guide will explain the different citation styles and give you examples of both in-text and bibliographic citations.

Citing Sources

Citations are a way to communicate with others about the information we include in our research. It tells the reader that an idea, fact, or dataset is not our own, but rather something someone else created and where the reader can find the source you are referencing.

Citation Styles

In sports, there are governing bodies (such as the NBA) that set rules about how a game is played. You likely know the general idea of how to play basketball and what a court looks like, but may not know that the NCAA rules require the cord that makes the net to be white and be made of twine that is between 120- and 144-thread count.

General Idea and Specific Styles

Depending on the citation style you use, the rules may change but the general ideas and information are the same:

  • You have to note when you use another's work 
  • You have to tell the reader where you got the information
  • Follow the rules set forth in the style manual, including:
    • Setting up the pages of your document
    • The way you show something as a borrowed idea within the text (an in-text citation)
    • The information you include within the full citations
    • The formatting you apply to text

For the citations, you will follow the rules set forth by an organization as it is prescribed by your professor, discipline, or the journal you want to publish your research.

Common Citation Styles


Written by the American Psychological Association (APA), this style is primarily used in psychology as it contains guidance specific to presenting psychology research but is also used in other health and social science disciplines. 


The Chicago Manual of Style is published by The University of Chicago, and thus is not specific to any particular discipline. Turabian Style is an offshoot of Chicago Style that is aimed toward modern students.


The Modern Language Association (MLA) style manual is used by researchers in English, literature, and the humanities. It is also commonly used by high school students so you may already be familiar with this style.


The American Mathematical Society publishes their manual freely online, and is aimed at styles for mathematical expressions and research.


Written by the American Sociological Association (ASA) this citation style is based on the Chicago Manual of Style and primarily used for publishing in the ASA's journals.


The Council of Science Editors (CSE) publishes Scientific Style and Format, informally known as CSE style. This style focuses on the sciences and has citation information specific to numbers, units, mathematical expressions, tables, and figures.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone's thoughts, ideas, or creations as your own, whether intentionally or by accident.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT)  Academic integrity at MIT: A handbook for students (2019), plagiarism "occurs when you use another's words, ideas, assertions, data, or figures and do not acknowledge that you have done so." While plagiarism may not seem like a big deal, it is. If you are accused of plagiarism, a report will be filed, and a hearing may be held. Depending on the situation and severity of the accusation, you could obtain a failing grade, and you could be put on academic probation or even be suspended. For more information about academic integrity at Xavier, check out the Academic Integrity Policy.

So, how do we make sure we don't plagiarize? When it doubt, cite!


For more information on plagiarism, visit the following sources:

Research Support: Avoiding Plagiarism (Duke University Library)

Plagiarism and How to Avoid it: Avoiding Plagiarism (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)



What is Plagiarism? (n.d.). Retrieved from