Need help citing your sources?

If you have been working on papers, essays or other assignments, you have likely been asked to cite your sources.  Depending on the subject area that you are working in and your instructor’s preference, there are a few citation styles that you could be asked to use for this.  Luckily, the Empire State College Library is here to help.

Once you know what style your instructor requires for your assignment, you should visit the library homepage at  On the library homepage, you will see the link for “Cite Your Sources.”  Click on that.  Choose the tab for your citation style from APA, MLA, CSE or Chicago/Turabian.

Under your citation style tab, you will see citatation style guides listed as Hacker and OWL.  These are 2 very helpful sources that will help get you through citing your sources.  If you have any questions, you can always contact the library.  We are here to help.  We can’t check your work but we can help you figure out how to format your citation for a particular source or help you find the citation information if you forgot to write it all down when you first found your resource.

Since APA and MLA are the more commonly used ones, I am going to review the features of those Hacker & OWL pages below.   If you aren’t sure which citation style to use, ask your instructor.  Many of them prefer one style over another.


image of menu from HAcker's APA citation guide


With Hacker‘s APA Citation Style Guide you will see a purple menu on the left side of the screen.  To view how to do your in-text citations, click on APA in-text citations.  If you need to know how to do your list of references, click on APA list of references and there will be a list of many possible types of references and how you need to cite them.  If you would like to see a sample research paper using APA style, click on the link for Sample research paper: APA style.


image of menu from APA style guide by the OWL



The OWL‘s APA citation style guide also has a menu on the left side of the screen.  Their menu is much more detailed.  The menu includes general format information which has a sample title page.  It also includes In-Text citation information.  Below that, you will see a link for Footnotes and Endnotes. Then there are 7 links to help you with your Reference List. They start with Basic Rules and then are broken down by resource type.  If you are using items from the online library, you probably want to start with Reference List: Electronic Sources.  If  you would like to see a sample paper, scroll down a bit on the meny until you see Sample APA Paper.  That link will show you a sample paper.







image of menu from Hacker's MLA citation guide


With Hacker‘s Citation Style Guide for MLA, you will see a blue menu on the left side of the page.  For help with  your in-text citations, click on that in the menu.  For MLA works cited information, click on the MLA list of works cited link on the menu and there will be a list of many possible types of references and how you need to cite them.  If you would like to see a sample paper, click on Sample research paper: MLA style.



image of the OWL's menu for MLA citations


The OWL‘s MLA citation style guide has general information on how to format your paper on the first page.  Next on the menu which is on the left side of the page, you will see MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics.  This will help you with how to format your in-text citations.  After that, the meny includes how to format Quotations as well as Endnotes and Footnotes.  For your works cited page, you will see 5 different items listed in the menu based on the type of resource you are using.  If you are using an item from the online library, you most likely want to start with MLA Words Cited: Electronic Resources.  If you would like to view a sample paper or works cited page, scroll down until you see MLA Sample Paper or MLA Sample Works Cited on the menu.




We have many other resources to help you with your citations on our Cite Your Sources page which you can find here: