Citation Styles

Introduction: Referencing or citation has become an integral part of all sorts of academic writing, the major purpose is to discourage plagiarism and give credit to scholars, researchers etc. for their efforts in the growth of knowledge.

Citing resources in your research papers acknowledges that other people have influenced your ideas. Citations are also used to support your own ideas and arguments and to place your research in the larger context of a field of study (for instance, in a literature review or an annotated bibliography).

Citing work is essential to avoid accusations of plagiarism.


What is Citation?

A specific source that you mention in the body of your academic paper or scholarly paper. An attribution to the source. Appears inside the text.

Common Referencing Styles

  • American Psychological Association (APA) Style
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) Style
  • Vancouver
  • Oxford
  • Harvard
  • Chicago
  • IEEE
  • Bluebook
  • Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) Style
  • Turabian Style
  • Source-specific (Journal-specific style)


APA citation style

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. APA Style provides a foundation for effective scholarly communication because it helps authors present their ideas in a clear, concise, and organized manner. Uniformity and consistency enable readers to (a) focus on the ideas being presented rather than formatting and (b) sean works quickly for key points, findings, and sources. Style guidelines encourage authors to fully disclose essential information and allow readers to dispense with minor distractions, such as inconsistencies or omissions in punctuation, capitalization, reference citations, and presentation of statistics. More..


MLA Citation Style

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature. MLA style uses brief parenthetical citations in the text that refer to an alphabetical list of works cited appearing at the end of the work. More..


IEEE Citation Style

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers style is a widely accepted format for writing research papers, commonly used in technical fields, particularly in computer science. IEEE style is based on the Chicago Style. More..


Bluebook Citation Style

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is a style guide that prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States. It is taught and used at a majority of U.S. law schools, and is also used in a majority of federal courts. There are also several "house" citation styles used by legal publishers in their works. The Bluebook is compiled by the Harvard Law Review Association, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. Currently, it is in its 21st edition (published July 2020). Its name derives from the cover's color  More..