Introduction to Citations

A citation is a reference to a source whose ideas you are using in your own work. There are several reasons why we cite, and the method of citing (called a citation style) will vary depending on the academic discipline. Here is some introductory information about why, when, and how we cite:

For the drop-down menus below, click on each to expand them; click on the arrow to obtain a link for each specific item that you can copy or email to yourself.

For most FI courses, you will be asked to use either the MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) citation style. Select one of the following style guides, based on your field or on guidance from your instructor.

If you need additional help with writing or document formatting, consider visiting the Writing Center at VCU. For help finding or assessing the quality of a resource, talk with a research librarian at one of the VCU Libraries. And of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your professor for these and any other assignment-related questions you might have.