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Copyright: Citation

CCBC Citation Basics for MLA 9

CCBC Citation Examples for APA 7

Helpful Websites

Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction (From NCSU via YouTube)

Why Cite?

A citation is a reference to the source of an idea, information or image.

Any words, ideas or images that you do not create yourself must be cited if you use them in your work.

Citing information sources lets the audience know the origins of your information (in case they would like to locate the original) and gives credit to the creator (preventing plagiarism).

Use the citation style specified by your professor. MLA style is most commonly associated with humanities research. APA style is most commonly associated with social sciences and sciences research. CSE style is most commonly associated with the sciences and ACS style with chemistry. Chicago style has two options for citing and is used for many subjects across disciplines. Citation styles for legal documents vary.

One-on-One Assistance

Use LibraryCHAT for 24/7 help with research, citations, or any other question you might have.

Look for the Ask Now Chat Bubble on the right side of the screen.

LibraryChat Ask Now logo

You can also contact the library by filling out our contact form on the Staff Directory Page.

For more one-on-one help in other areas, tutoring in multiple subjects is available through the Student Success Centers on the three main campuses and through virtual tutoring. They can also be reached by email:,,,

Academic Coaching workshops (assistance with classroom and study skills, career counseling, and more) are available at Catonsville and Essex campuses.

Style Guides

Style guides are sets of rules for formatting and writing papers, including how citations should look. Citations consist of 2 parts:

1.    Full citations: Complete information on a source, listed on the works cited or references page.

2.    In-Text citations: short notes written into the body of your paper/project to refer readers to the full citation.

The Citation Basics page provides information on the style guides most frequently used at CCBC.

Citation Generators

Citation generators are online tools that automatically format citations. They may appear as a "cite" button on article pages, usually found near the print/save/email functions. Some citation generators (such as EasyBib or Citation Machine) are available freely on the internet.

Citations are only as good as the information provided to the generator. Some builders may miss or confuse certain parts of the citation, not italicizing words properly or mistaking the title of an article for the title of a journal. Remember that you are responsible for the accuracy of your citations.

  • For more information on Citation Generators, click here.

On the Shelf at CCBC Libraries: Citation Manuals