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Citation Styles   Tags: citation management  

Learn how to cite articles, books, reports, theses, legal documents, and more using citation styles like APA, Chicago, and IEEE.
Last Updated: May 21, 2015 URL: http://libguides.nps.edu/citation Print Guide RSS Updates

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Table of Contents

American Psychological Association
Other Styles
INFORMS, MLA, Turabian, AMS, etc.
Chicago Notes & Bibliography
Notes-Bibliography and Author-Date
Using Digital Object Identifiers in citations.
Chicago Author Date
Notes-Bibliography and Author-Date
Citation Management
Various citation management software tools.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Why cite?


If you fail to properly cite or give attribution to the original source material, you are presenting yourself as the original author and your work as the original source of the words or ideas you obtained elsewhere.  You are taking credit for someone else's work, which is considered plagiarism and may result in copyright infringement.

Mistakes in quoting or interpreting original material

If you make a mistake when quoting, paraphrasing, or interpreting the original source material, providing a reference to the original content allows anyone, whether it is you or your audience, to refer back to and understand the source material as originally intended.

Using the original source as background material

Rather than explain the history of a topic, you may decide to pull key concepts from other works and refer only to those concepts in your own writing.  You may do this because of space constraints or because you expect your readers to already have an understanding of the topic being discussed.  However, not everyone who sees your work will be familiar with the topic.  Including the citation to the original source where a concept or text was taken from, allows readers to gain a better understanding of the background or basis of your writing, so that they can then understand your arguments.

Errors in the original material

It may turn out that the original source you used contained typographical or factual errors.  If you provide the citation to the original source material, you can show that the resulting error in your writing was due to errors in the original source.

Easily traceable digital network of resources

Online tools, such as search engines and online databases, make it easier to search for resources that cite or are cited by others.  Including proper citations creates a network of resources that is beneficial to you, authors of works you refer to, and people conducting research after you.



RefWorks is a web based citation management tool that you can access from any internet connected computer.

You can:

  • Add citations from Library databases, the web, or manually
  • Organize your citations into folders
  • Annotate your citations with personal notes
  • Add citations and reference lists, formatted in any style, into MS Word

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