Boston College University Libraries

Citing Sources & Creating Bibliographies: Major Citation Styles

Links to online citation style guides, citation management tools, and guidance about when to cite and how to organize sources.

Check with Your Instructor

Librarians can help you locate the right resources for your research tasks, including style guides. Many librarians can even provide some citation instruction. For the following questions, however, you should check with your instructor:

  • Which citation style should I use?
  • Is this paraphrase too close to the original language?
  • Is this an accurate summary?
  • Is this citation correct?
  • Is this bibliographic entry correct?

Major Citation Styles


(American Psychological Association)

Psychology, Business, other Social Sciences

BC APA Guide       |    Purdue OWL APA Guide


History, Religion & Theology, other Humanities, some Sciences

BC Chicago Guide      |    Chicago Quick Guide


(Modern Language Association)

English Literature, non-English Literature, Language, other Humanities

BC MLA Guide           |   Purdue OWL MLA Guide

Scientific Citation Styles

In the sciences, researchers often use the citation style of the leading journal in their area instead of following a standard style guide published by their professional organization.  Check the syllabus or consult with your instructor regarding the preferred style for the assignment.  Your subject specialist can help you find the guidelines for each style.


Upcoming Citation Workshops

Citation Help

Steve Runge
309 O'Neill Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
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