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Cite Your Sources: Home

Tools for creating bibliographies in MLA, APA, Chicago, and other styles.

HVCC Writing and Research Center's Cite Your Sources

This guide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing a paper.There are different styles that format the citation components slightly differently, so select the tab for the style you need and take a look at some examples.


A bibliography is a list of source materials used or consulted in the preparation of a work or are referred to in the text.

Why you need a bibliography:

To avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledg­ing its source.

Scholars communicate with each other by publishing papers. This is how they contribute to the academic conversation.  When you are a student, you are part of the academic community, and your work is a contribution.  Your bibliography is an expected part of the academic conversation, and it shows other people what you have researched to form your thoughts.  By acknowledging your sources, you are finding your place within the academic conversation as a contributor

Citations are what you find in bibliographies. Cite any idea or quote that comes from resources that you used in your research. It will provide your reader with the information needed to identify your source.

 A citation of a book generally includes: author(s), title, publisher, date.

A citation of an article generally includes: author(s), article title, magazine title, volume, pages, and date.

Citations for web documents and articles from databases may include a URL and the date the information was accessed.

An annotated bibliography is a detailed list of sources used to research a topic. Each source for an annotated bibliography will include a citation and an annotation .  Each citation is correctly formatted in the appropriate style and is followed by the annotation, a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the source cited. The list of sources is compiled in alphabetical order by author. 

There are several reasons why you would want to cite your sources...

  • Lend authority and credibility to your work
  • Allow readers (including your instructor!) to cross‐reference sources easily
  • Provide consistent format
  • Acknowledge academic debts and avoid plagiarism

Use MLA style for classes in the humanities or if  your instructor recommends it. MLA has been updated to the 8th edition. Make sure you use the version required by your professor.

Use APA style for classes in the social sciences of if your instructor recommends it.  APA is up to a 6th edition.

Use Chicago for classes in history or if your instructor recommends it. Chicago is up to a 16th edition.

Use ASA for classes in sociology if your instructor recommends it.

Use Vancouver for classes in the health fields if your instructor recommends it.

This Cite Your Sources guide was put together by the librarians and writing specialists at the Dwight Marvin Library at HVCC.  The Writing and Research Center is a great place to come for assistance when starting your research and completing your papers and projects.