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Citation Guide from NU Library

Citation Basics: What is a citation?

citation is a phrase that refers to another book or article, saying where your information came from. In many research papers that you write in college, you are required to cite the sources where you got your information.

A citation is made up of 2 parts: an in-text citation and a full citation.

Citation Basics: In-Text Citation

An in-text citation, also called a parenthetical citation, appears in the body of your research paper. It is very short, including only the author's last name, and the page number or year.

Example in APA Style:

A recent study (Campbell, 2018) found that exercise can improve mood in people with mild depression.

Example in MLA Style:

Students are better able to remember information when reviewing it at regular spaced intervals (Williams 104).

Citation Basics: Full Citation

A full citation appears at the end of your research paper. It is part of a list, called either "References" or "Works Cited," that provides all the details about each source you used.

Example of an article cited in APA Style:

Campbell, B. (2018). The relationship between physical and mental health. Modern Health, 25(2), 19-35.

Example of an article cited in MLA Style:

Williams, Ashley. "Best Study Techniques For Students." High School Teaching, vol. 81, no. 4, 2017, pp. 104-110.

Citation Basics: How do I cite my source?

First, make sure you know what citation style to use. Your instructor will usually ask you to use a particular style, such as MLA or APA. See the menu on the left side of this page, to choose your style and see how to create a citation using it.