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Introduction to the Research Process: Citations

This guide will help you to complete any research project from start to finish!


There are several reasons to be meticulous about citing your sources:

1. To indicate that you have done good research.

2. To give credit to other people for their words and ideas. Even stuff you find on the internet was written by SOMEBODY! Give that somebody credit with a correct citation.

3. To give your reader a straightforward map back to your source material.

Citation Tools

Use the tools below to help you create complete and correct citations.

Please note that you should check your EasyBib and BibMe citations against an authoritative source, such as the OWL (Online Writing Lab) from Purdue University, the MLA Style Center, or the APA Style Blog.




The APA Style Blog is the official companion to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. It's run by a group of experts who work with APA Style every day.

Basic Style Guides

There are numerous style guides each developed for use by specific subject specialties and disciplines. The three major citation styles are:

  • APA Style (American Psychological Association) used primarily in the social sciences, education, and engineering. At Spring Hill College it is also used by the School of Nursing.
  • MLA Style (Modern Language Association) and is often used in the humanities.
  • Chicago Style is often used in History, Theology, and frequently required for articles being published in academic journals. We also refer to Turabian Style (named for author Kate L. Turabian) which is the student version of Chicago style for papers that are not being submitted for publication. 

If you are not sure which citation style you should be using, be sure to ask your instructor! Regardless of the style you are using, use it consistently throughout your paper. 


A Bibliography is a list of all the sources you found and used while researching a topic, whether you quote them directly in your paper or project or not. 

An Annotated Bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources and is excellent preparation for further research and for writing and presenting on a topic.

A Works Cited Page is a list of the sources quoted from in a research paper; it should follow MLA format

A Reference List is a list of the sources quoted from in a research paper; it should follow APA format

How to Write an Annotation for a Source Citation

Your instructor will let you know what you should cover in your annotations, but generally speaking a source annotation ought to show your engagement with the source and your evaluation of its credibility and usefulness. Consider answering these questions in your annotation: 

  • What kind of source is it? Be specific and thorough in your answer.
  • What does it offer that is special? (Research table, video link, the author's expertise, etc.)
  • Brief summary of the content...
  • How is it particularly useful or interesting to you? 
  • And how did you find it?