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How To Find/Research Tips: Citation Guide

This guide provides tips on how to use a variety of TCNJ Library resources and services.

How Do I Cite My Sources?

An extremely important part of scholarly writing is documenting your sources. Everything derived from an outside source, i.e., ideas, information, statistics, etc., must be credited whether it is found in print or via the Internet. Style manuals (also called "citation guides" or "style guides") provide instructions and examples of how to format papers, cite sources, and prepare in-text references and end-of-document bibliographies.

This guide contains references and links to a number of citation and style guides.

For an overview of several different styles, you could consult: Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions and More. PN171.F56 L55 2011 - in the Reference Collection (or an e-book for the 2006 version: Netlibrary).

Library research tutorial

For more help on citing sources, take a look at the "Make Citations" module of the library research tutorial It only takes about 15 minutes to work through this and it could save you hours in the long term!

Government & Law

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (Peter W. Martin, Cornell Law School. Based on the "Bluebook", the authoritative reference on legal citation.)

Uncle Sam: Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications (University of Memphis)


American Psychological Association (APA)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Ed
REF BF76.7.P83 2020, 1 copy at the Reference Desk, 1 copy in the Reference Collection

  • (Free style tips and official recommendations, including citation guidelines for most publication types.)

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Ed.
REF Z253.U69 2010, 1 copy at the Reference Desk; 15th edition and 14th edition in General Collection, Z253.U69 2003 and 1993

Modern Language Association (MLA)

MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd Ed.
REF PN147.G444 2008, 1 copy at the Reference Desk


A Manual for Writers of Term papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th Ed.
REF LB2369.T8 1996,1 copy at the Reference Desk.

Tech tools - RefWorks, Zotero, & Mendeley

A citation management tool helps you:

  • keep track of articles and books as you find them
  • tag and annotate research materials
  • easily create in-text citations
  • instantly generate end-of-document bibliographies
  • share research with collaborators
  • conduct better research, faster

We suggest three choices to you in this guide: Refworks, Zotero, and Mendeley. (Each is available free of charge).

Refworks, is provided by TCNJ. It is a stable, well-established platform, but has limitations in terms of working with PDF files.

Zotero is an open-source software program that is notable for its ease of use, its ability to grab screenshots, and its capabilities for archiving website content for local storage (including  PDFs).

Mendeley, the newest option of the three, is a cloud-based proprietary system that includes PDF storage, annotation, and tagging. Mendeley has a wide range of functionality but has historically suffered from performance and accuracy issues.

We recommend that you explore a variety of citation managers, consulting with library staff as needed, before choosing one. We can provide guidance on best practices and share our experiences.


American Chemical Society (ACS)

The ACS Style Guide
REF QD8.5.A25 2006, and the General Collection

Council of Science Editors (CSE, formerly CBE)

Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers
REF T11.S386 2006

Social Sciences