How to cite your sources using the citation style guides from OWL

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 www.esc.edu/library. 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 a citation style guide listed as OWL.  This is a very helpful source 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 styles, I am going to review the features of the OWL guide below. If you aren’t sure which citation style to use, ask your instructor. Many of them prefer one style over another.

APA:

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.

 

MLA:

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 menu 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: http://subjectguides.esc.edu/citing

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