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The research skills tutorial



To give credit to your sources, you should use a recognized citation style. Some commonly used styles are MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association). Whether professors tell you which style to use or let you choose, they will expect you to stick to one style consistently within your paper.

Each style includes rules for how to arrange details like author, title, publication date, date accessed, etc. These details may vary depending on what you are citing:

  • Books
  • Articles from print journals or newspapers
  • Articles obtained from library databases like Academic Search Complete or PsycINFO
  • Websites
  • Email communication

For example, the citation for an article will look different and require different information than a citation for a website. You can find rules for proper citation in style guides available online at the Purdue Online Writing Lab or at the library, or you can ask a librarian for help.