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Reference Management Tools and Citation Styles

Learn more about reference management tools and citation styles

Common Citation Styles

There are a variety of citation styles available to researchers, though each field is typically partial to a particular style or standard. Some of the most common styles include APA, MLA, and Chicago.

  Style features Fields More info
APA (American Psychological Association)  brief in-text citations in the text that refer to an alphabetical list of references  social sciences, business, and some of the life sciences  
MLA (Modern Language Association)  brief parenthetical citations in the text that refer to an alphabetical list of works cited  humanities, especially in writing on language and literature  
Chicago parenthetical in-text citation and full details are provided in a reference or works cited list physical, natural, and social sciences "Turabian" style, widely used for decades by students, is essentially a simplified version of Chicago Style.

Credit: University of Washington University Libraries Research Guide, Citing Source, accessed September 5, 2023


APA provides numerous guidelines on topics ranging from citations and bias-free language to grammar and the publication process

Purdue University offers a number of resources for MLA and Chicago styles

Highly specialized fields like law and medicine have their own particular styles as well. Information about those styles is beyond the scope of this introductory guide, but you may contact your agency's embedded librarian for help.

Borrow a style guide from the State Library