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Citation Guide

Style Guides

The 3 most commonly used style guides for citation are listed below and copies are always available at the BCC Library for your use.


What is a citation? 

A citation is a brief reference to a specific information source such as a book, a journal article, or a website, which acknowledges an original idea expressed therein and provides a means of locating the original source. In general, a citation includes both a notation in the body of a text and an entry in a list of sources following the text (referred to as a bibliography or works cited page).

Why should you cite your sources? 

Citing your sources shows your reader the pathway you used to build your argument. It acknowledges that you consulted other sources and perspectives to draw your conclusions and also demonstrates that you know how to do research. Not citing your sources is considered stealing another person's ideas, research and work. By listing each resource in your citations, you not only provide due credit to the original author(s) of the ideas you've highlighted in your work, but you are also affirming credibility and authority of the authors and their work too. 

What should you cite?

  • Direct quotes that you take from any other source (including print and non-print sources)
  • Paraphrases and summaries that you take from other sources
  • Information, data, graphs, statistics or other facts that you do not generate yourself
  • Images, videos, screenshots, logos and other media you find on the Web

What is a citation style?

A citation style is a set of guidelines for formatting and organizing citations. Although there exist many different citation styles to suit different purposes, most academic research papers adhere to one of three major styles: American Psychological Association (APA), Chicago/Turabian, or Modern Language Association (MLA).

Which citation style should I use? 

Use the style recommended or required by your instructor. If your instructor does not specify a style, choose one based on the discipline or field about which you are writing:

Citations from BCC Databases

The majority of BCC databases include prepared citations for your works cited/bibliographies for resources obtained from them. This includes citations in our most popular databases:

  • Academic Search Complete
  • SIRS Researcher
  • Point of View
  • eBooks too!

Additionally, you can email, print or save your database resource and its citation for later reference that includes the citation style you need for your assignments. While database providers aim for correct citations it is always good practice to review them for accuracy, or get help from a librarian, if something doesn't appear correct.