Citation & Style: Overview

Whenever you present the ideas or words of other writers in your own work, you should both clearly say so and make it possible for others to find where you found other writers' ideas or words. In short, this is called citation or citing sources.

All of the major professional academic organizations, scholarly journals, and publishers require that writers cite other writers' ideas or words, whether you are summarizing these ideas or words, paraphrasing them, or directly quoting them.

Citation & Style: FAQ

Anytime you refer to someone else's words or ideas that are not your own, you should credit the source. This applies whether you are

  • using or paraphrasing the author’s direct words or ideas
  • or

  • summarizing an author’s words or ideas

Depending on the citation style you're using, you should use an in-text citation in the body of your text (summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation) and a full reference to each source, a footnote, or an endnote.

Citation achieves the following four ends:

  1. Allows reader to find your sources
  2. Provides evidence for your argument and enhances credibility
  3. Demonstrates your interaction with others in the field and their ideas
  4. Helps avoid plagiarism
When Do You Cite Graphic graphic from UC-Merced Library

What citation style you use depends on what genre you're writing, what discipline or subject area you're writing in and for, what your publisher or journal requires, and for course-based assignments, what is required by your instructor and/or what is listed on your assignment.

Style Guide Deciding Person

Typically, you will use MLA for disciplines in the humanities, APA for disciplines in the social sciences, Chicago or Turabian for history, and CSE for the sciences.

The UCWbL neither recommends citation generators nor discourages their use. It's up to you!

Because style guide rules and standards change, using automatic citation generators may result in formatting inconsistent with the latest edition of style guidelines, so if you do use a citation generator, check the formatting it produces against the latest edition of the citation style you are writing in for accuracy.

Citation Generators

DePaul provides students, staff, and faculty free access to EndNote 7, citation and bibliography software for Windows or Mac

EndNote 7
citation and bibliography software for Windows or Mac

Other Citation Generators

Citation Builder
for APA, MLA, and CSE
for APA, MLA, Chicago, and others
Citation Machine
for APA, MLA, and Chicago

In short "Turabian" is a version of The Chicago Manual of Style designed for students and non-professional writers.

Chicago and Turabian Style Guide Covers

For more information on these differences, check out the Turabian style quick guide from the University of Chicago Press.

For more information about Kate L. Turabian, from whom Turabian style takes its name, see Who was Kate Turabian from the University of Chicago Press.

A bibliography, references list, and works cited page refer to the same thing: they each list the bibliographic entries for sources referenced within your paper. The name of this bibliographic entries list and its formatting depend on the citation style.


An annotated bibliography includes an annotation about each sources that includes summary and reflection about each source. In addition, the paragraphs ought to explain the source's relevance to both the paper and the other entries in the bibliography.

In it's most recent Academic Integrity Policy, DePaul University defines plagiarism as

Any use of words, ideas, or other work products attributed to an identifiable source, without attributing the work to the source from which it was obtained, in a situation where there is a legitimate expectation of original authorship.

Bike Theft Picture

You can avoid plagiarism by citing your sources appropriately whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise use others' ideas or words. Use the appropriate style guide for detailed instructions on how and when to cite.

If you are not sure what constitutes plagiarism, check out DePaul's Academic Integrity Policy, schedule an appointment at the Writing Center, or, if you are a student, ask your professor.

Additional Citation Resources

UCWbL Citation & Style Guides
AP Syle Guide APA Syle Guide Chicago Syle Guide MLA Syle Guide

Notes & Feedback

For more information on DePaul-specific standards for citation, consult the DePaul University code of Academic Integrity.

We welcome feedback on these resources via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Dissertators and faculty members seeking out editing services in particular style or publication guides may contact Lauri Dietz.