Citing Your Sources

Quick reference Purdue OWL citation chart (MLA, APA, Chicago): this resource—updated to reflect the 2016 (8th) edition of the MLA Handbook and the 2019 (7th) edition of the APA Publication Manual—is extremely handy if you want a quick overview of the differences between three commonly used academic citation styles. Note that the MLA Handbook is now in its 9th edition (2021), but that the citation guidelines remain unchanged.

Integrating sources into your writing: this useful James Madison UWC video shares effective summary, paraphase, and quotation tactics. It offers examples and tips as it addresses intellectual property/giving credit, building credibility, and plagiarism questions.


American Medical Association (AMA)

JMU Libraries AMA Resources page: includes a link to the online AMA Manual of Style.

Purdue OWL AMA page

American Psychological Association (APA)

American Psychological Association (APA) style is the preferred citation system of the social sciences and is often used in other disciplines. In October 2019, the APA published its 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.


APA 6:

Paraphrases and quotations with APA

How to effectively integrate paraphrases into your essay

Short quotations vs. long quotations

American Political Science Association (APSA)

JMU Libraries APSA page

American Sociological Association (ASA)

Quick Tips for ASA Style: a two-page PDF straight from the American Sociological Association that offers help with in-text citations and References section formatting.

Purdue OWL ASA resources

Associated Press (AP)

Associated Press Style (AP Style) is the set of rules followed by most newspapers and magazines, as well as many businesses and universities (including JMU). The AP Stylebook is used by writers and editors for formatting, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and word choice. The Stylebook also addresses newswriting concerns like attribution, source identification, and photography.

AP Stylebook Online - If you're on campus, you can access the onine AP Stylebook through the JMU Libraries ( Just type "AP Stylebook" into the general search bar. If you're off campus and and affiliated with JMU, you can access the Stylebook through the JMU Libraries by using the Pulse Secure method available here:

Bluebook legal citations

Bluebook citation format is used by lawyers, judges, and law students.

Overview, explanations, and examples

The Bluebook Quick Style Guide

"Maroonbook: the University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation": an attempt to simplify the 500-page Bluebook.

Chicago and Turabian

Chicago and Turabian refer to a set of (essentially identical) formatting and citation guidelines used in the social sciences and in some professional publications.

Chicago Style has been around since 1906, and the Chicago Manual of Style, now in its 17th edition, tries to address every possible question.

The Turabian Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, published by the same University of Chicago Press that offers the CMOS, is the more accessible, portable style manual for student writers.

Chicago Manual of Style Online: increasingly user friendly and available to JMU students; non-JMU users can register for a free trial.

Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide: the CMOS Quick Guide answers key first concerns.

Turabian Style Quick Guide: if you're writing your first Chicago paper, and you don't know the first thing about Chicago Style, start with this resource. It offers a bit of introduction and then a tab in the middle of the page for switching between footnotes-bibliography style (literature, history, art) and author-date style (physical, natural, and social sciences).

Overview and Quick Guide

Sample Chicago-formatted paper

JMU Libraries Chicago/Turabian Resources page

Council for Science Editors (CSE/CBE)

JMU Libraries Council for Science (formerly Biology) Editors Guide 

Modern Language Association (MLA)

MLA style is the preferred citation system for the humanities. The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook (2021) offers additional advice and examples for the range of sources you might engage in your text and include on your Works Cited page.

Purdue OWL MLA page

MLA 8/9 Works Cited entries guide: this handy resource from the Saginaw Valley State University Writing Center offers a quick, comprehensive sense of the basic components and considerations involved in citing any source. Note that MLA 9 clarifies but does not revise MLA 8.

JMU Libraries MLA Resources page

Back to Top