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How to Cite

Choosing a Style

Your instructor may assign a specific style for you to follow. If so, use the style consistently throughout your paper: in the layout of the paper (margins, line spacing, cover page), in the footnotes/in-text citations and in your final list of references.

  • If you are not assigned a specific style to use, then you are free to choose whichever style you would like; again, be consistent.
    • Many programs and disciplines have a preferred style, e.g., Psychology - APA style; History - Chicago style; English - MLA style. If you aren't sure which style to choose it's probably best to use the style most preferred by your program/discipline.

Major Styles

ACS (American Chemical Society)

ACS is the standard style used for Chemistry.

APA (American Psychological Association)

American Psychological Association (APA) style is the standard style used for psychology and many other academic disciplines, especially the social sciences.

APA Style Guides Online

APA Style Guide In Print

ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)


The Chicago Manual of Style provides two distinct citation styles: Humanities style (notes and bibliography) and Scientific/Social Sciences styles (parenthetical author/date references and reference list). Be sure to check with your instructor regarding which style they prefer that you use. Chicago style is sometimes called Turabian style, which is a modified version.

Chicago/Turabian Style Guides Online

Chicago/Turabian Style Guides in Print

CSE (Council of Science Editors)


Harvard is a  parenthetical style used most commonly in the UK and Australia. Unlike other citation styles, there is no authoritative guide for Harvard style, so you may see small differences between guides. When using Harvard style, the most important thing is to consistently apply one guide. Here are some guides you may wish to choose from:

IEEE Style (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

IEEE Style uses a notational method of referencing


Used primarily in Law


Modern Languages Association (MLA) style is one of several styles for academic citation. It is used in the humanities, especially English.

MLA Style Guides Online

MLA Style Guide in Print

Vancouver Style / Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals

Commonly used in medical and scientific journals