Citing Your Sources

For key basic differences between MLA and APA formatting and citations, we recommend this Scribbr resource. Note that the Purdue OWL citation chart (MLA, APA, Chicago) to which we used to link has not been updated to reflect APA 7 (2019) guidelines.

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


AMA (American Medical Association)

American Medical Association (AMA) is the preferred citation style in the field of nursing and other medical disciplines. As of 2020, it is currently in its 11th edition.

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

Purdue OWL AMA page: describes how to format references and in-text citations.


AP (Associated Press)

Associated Press Style (AP Style) is the constantly updated set of guidelines observed by American newspapers and magazines, as well as many businesses and universities (including JMU). Writers and editors use the AP Stylebook for formatting, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and word choice. The Stylebook also addresses news writing concerns like attribution, source identification, and photography.

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

Citations in AP Style

Sources: AP Style does not have a citation format. Instead, introduce and frame secondary sources as fully as you would introduce direct and indirect quotations. The aim always is to foreground your source's credibility and thus your credibility. See Pen and the Pad for more details on how to cite in AP Style. 

Images: When providing credit for images, insert the name of the photographer in the photographer field and "AP" in the source field. Both the source and photographer credits should only be in initial caps. If there is no individual photographer, list the company (AP) in the source field and leave the photographer field empty. 


APA (American Psychological Association)

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.

  • Your first best online resource for APA 7 formatting and style help is the APA website. Scroll down on the APA page for formatting guidelines, help with in-text citations and References sections, sample papers, and a suite of APA 7 grammar and style guidelines
  • APA Style Blog (7th ed.): The 2019 APA 7 Publication Manual effectively addressed and anticipated most writing and formatting concerns. For guidance on emerging issues, consult the APA Style Blog, which is still at under 50 total articles more than four years after the 7th edition came out.
  • Purdue OWL APA 7 Style: Purdue's resources are always accurate and useful.
  • JMU Libraries APA Resources page: this JMU-produced resource contains numerous helpful links and examples of in-text citations and reference lists. 
Paraphrases and quotations in APA

APA Parenthetical Documentation: this guide explains how to effectively integrate paraphrases into your essay.

In-Text Citations: The Basics: this Purdue OWL page covers the basics of citations and how to handle short quotations vs. long quotations.


APSA (American Political Science Association)

The American Political Science Association citation style is the preferred style for individuals in the field of political science. It is very similar to the Chicago Manual of Style and its current edition builds from the 17th edition of CMOS

APSA Style Manual: a .pdf version of the revised 2018 (updated in 2020 and 2022) APSA Style Manual is available online for free.

JMU Libraries APSA page


ASA (American Sociological Association)

The American Sociological Association style is the preferred citation style for the field of sociology. Its sixth edition was published in 2019. 

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: this page explains the formatting basics. 


Bluebook legal citations

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

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation: this Cornell University Law School page includes an overview, explanations, and examples.

The Bluebook Quick Style Guide: a list of examples utilizing the Bluebook citation format.

"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 commonly used in the social sciences and in some professional publications.

  • The Chicago Manual of Style has been around since 1906. Now in its 17th edition, CMOS tries to address every possible question, and many other academic styles build on or adapt the Chicago style.
  • The Turabian  Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, published by the same University of Chicago Press that offers the CMOS, has been around since 1937 and 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 can help you address 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).

Chicago/Turabian Documentation: a brief overview and quick guide from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sample Chicago-formatted paper: Purdue OWL's sample Notes and Bibliography paper adheres to the 17th edition of CMOS.

JMU Libraries Chicago/Turabian Resources page: this JMU-produced compilation of resources includes sample citations, quick guides, a link to the Purdue OWL page, and access to CMOS.


CSE/CBE (Council for Science Editors)

The Council of Science Editors (formerly known as the Council of Biology Editors) publishes Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers as a guide for scientific disciplines. It is currently in its eighth edition, published initially in 2014.

JMU Libraries Council for Science (formerly Biology) Editors Guide: includes citation examples and access to the latest edition of the CSE manual.


IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers style is the preferred citation style in the engineering and computer science disciplines. 

IEEE Editorial Style Manual, accessible as a .pdf

Purdue OWL IEEE resources: in addition to an overview of IEEE and formatting guidelines, this collection of resources includes a page on formatting tables, figures, and equations. 


MLA (Modern Language Association)

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: this introduction to MLA includes an overview page and a guide on formatting. 

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: in addition to referencing Purdue OWL, this JMU-produced guide contains citation examples and a link to the most recent handbook and MLA Style Center.



Vancouver style, related to the AMA style, is used in biomedical journals and in PubMed articles. 

Vancouver 2022 - Monash University (Australia) Library Guide: this one-stop shop for Vancouver style contains a quick guide, basic reference notes, and a sample reference list, among others. Updated guidelines can be found on this Vancouver 2022 page.

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