Citation – MLA and APA

MLA citation style is commonly used by students from elementary school onward.  It is the style reinforced by the Modern Language Association for research papers in the “Humanities,” i.e., English, History, Art, etc.  (See our “Checklist” for completing a Works Cited List.) APA citation style is commonly used by students involved in certain science competitions and for research papers in the sciences, including social sciences such as Psychology.  It is promoted by the American Psychiatric Association.  Resources for building citations:

  •  NoodleTools is software that APS libraries pay for in order to provide their students authoritative and up-to-date citation templates, especially for long term research projects. Students use it to build their bibliographies, annotate them, and link them to their resources.  With a click, you can export your bibliography to Google Drive. (It supports electronic note-taking and outlining a paper, too.)  Log in using your APS Google email address and password or find NoodleTools in the “waffle menu” of your Google Drive.
  • Google is developing it’s Google Docs tools to insert in-text citations and create bibliographies. Check to see if your device/app supports it because the i-Pad app might not yet.
  • MLA citation templates are available at EasyBibHowever, APA citation is available only for paying customers.
  • The OWL at Purdue:  Expert advice and models for citing a variety of information formats in multiple styles.
  • Citation Machine:   citation templates for quick use.
  • Almost all of the library’s database resources include citations that students can copy and paste onto bibliographies or the “Quick Cite” link in NoodleTools.  Look for the correct style of citation (MLA or APA) at the base of the article or under “citation tools.”
  • HBW’s library has print guides to support instruction of MLA and APA citation, including the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  Find them at 808 in our non-fiction section. They are useful to answering most questions and learning how in-text citations are constructed, how the various parts of a research paper are laid out and formatted, including how to properly supply captions for a diagram or image.

In-text Citation:

A sample paragraph of many sentences is shown. Following each quotation is parentheses, name of author, page number of the source of the quote, close parentheses period.

Things to notice in the example above:

  • close the quotation marks before using the parentheses
  • supply author’s last name followed immediately by the page number. (Where there is no author for a source, supply the first significant words of the citation that you have supplied in your paper’s bibliography.)
  • close the parentheses
  • then last place the period to punctuate the end of the sentence.
  • The final example supplies qtd in as an abbreviation for “quoted in” and this format is used to cite Saplin as the source where you found the quotation even if Saplin found it elsewhere. Saplin quoted Martin Luther King Junior’s words in her work, and the example demonstrates how you can quote that quote in your own paper.
  • 28 is used to cite Jones again (whose work was cited directly before hand) but with a new page number.
  • citing is done whether the wording is directly quoted or paraphrased/summarized to give credit for the source of the information that is not considered “common knowledge.”