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Citing Sources : Introduction

Guide to citation styles and tools for managing and formatting citations.

About this Guide

When you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source, either with a parenthetical citation or  a footnote or endnote.  Not to do so is plagiarism.  At the end of documents with references to others' works is a list of sources (e.g., Bibliography, Works Cited, Reference List)

Before starting your research, identify the appropriate citation style according to the academic discipline and/or media format. Check with your advisor or instructor about which style you should use.

This guide provides information about citing sources according to different styles. Select the page for the style you are using.  Print manuals and electronic sources with examples of citations for different types of sources are included.

Also available is a link to information about tools you can use to collect, manage, and format citations.

If you need further assistance with citing sources, use Ask A Librarian.

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UW Writing Center

The UW-Madison Writing Center, located in 6171 Helen C. White Hall, helps students with their writing skills through in-person and online assistance.  This research guide links to pages with documentation related to a number of citation styles. 

Citation Tools

Citation Managers such as EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero are software tools for managing your citations.  Citation managers will help you:

  • Create and organize a personal research database,
  • Download citations from online databases,
  • Format bibliographies and citations in papers, and
  • Share your citations with others.

Compare Citation Managers