When you write a research paper, you will start by reading the research that others have done before you. In your paper you will mention (or "cite") the sources you have consulted. At the end of your paper you will include a bibliography or works cited section, an alphabetical list of citations that contain all the information that readers will need to locate these resources for themselves.
In order to provide a consistent format to your citations, you will use one of several popular standard citation styles. Check with your instructors to find out which style they want you to use.
This guide summarizes the three styles used by most SCC instructors. The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is used by most English and humanities classes at SCC; the American Psychological Association (APA) style is used by many psychology and social science classes; another style preferred by some instructors is the University of Chicago (Chicago or Turabian) style.
Some biology instructors prefer a style described by Jan A. Pechenik in A Short Guide to Writing about Biology. The University of Alberta has published an excellent Pechenik Style QuickGuide online.
Citation Resources on the Web
Citation Resources in Databases
Many of our online databases will help you format your citations. You should always double-check the results you get, as the citations often need some clean-up. Here are instructions for a few of our most popular databases.
EBSCO databases (e.g., Academic Search Premier) - When you click the title of an article, there are icons at the top of the page for "Print," "E-mail" "Save as File," and "Cite this article"; each of these choices gives you an option to include a citation in the MLA, APA, or Chicago style.
Academic OneFile (Gale) - When you click the title of an article, an options box is displayed at the right. The "E-mail" and "Citation Tools" options will display citations in MLA or APA styles.
OmniFile Full Text (Wilson) - When you click the title of an article, a line of options appears in a line across the top. Click the "Print Email Save" option, then select the "Brief Citation Display" field and choose MLA, APA, or a Chicago style option.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center - When you have displayed an article, the "E-mail" link at the top of the screen gives you the option to include an MLA-formatted citation.
National Newspapers (Proquest) - When you have displayed an article, click the "Cite this" link at the top.