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Citing Sources: Getting Started

This guide provides an overview of how to cite sources in scholarly bibliographies, including the APA, Chicago, MLA, ASA, and science styles.



Use RefWorks to keep track of resources you find in your research, and to create your bibliography when finished.

Learn more about Refworks and get the UST Refworks Group Code (login required).

Free Citation Tools

Mendeley reference manager for iPad and iPhone

These tools are free and will help you manage documents and references, and create citations and bibliographies quickly and easily.

Spend more time writing and less time fiddling with format!

Cite Genie is a Firefox extension which, when copying text from a case in Lexis or Westlaw, will: (1) Put the citation into the proper format for the jurisdiction you choose, or in standard Bluebook form, and (2) Add a correct pinpoint citation.

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Social software for managing and sharing research papers. Document and reference management system, can sync with Zotero and CiteULike, import/export compatibility with EndNote and RefWorks, does over 1,000 citation formats including Bluebook.  Includes video tutorials.

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Document and reference management system, import/export to RefWorks and EndNote, can integrate with Zotero, citation styles AMA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA or Vancouver.

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Firefox browser add-on. Reference, document and notes management, 1,000s of citation styles including Bluebook. Integrates with Word and OpenOffice via plug-ins. 
Screencast tutorials demonstrate many of the basic functions of Zotero.

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Commercial (Fee) Citation Tools


These are a selection of commercial tools that can help you with document management, references, and citations. These tools are not free. However, as long as you are a student at St. Thomas, you will have free access to RefWorks and Best Authority.

Best Authority
Available through LexisNexis.

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Integrates with Word and correctly formats your citations to Bluebook. Free 30 day trial, $99 a month.

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A Thomson Reuters product. Use EndNote to search online bibliographic databases, organize references, images and PDFs in any language, and create bibliographies. Integrates with Word, Apple Pages and OpenOffice. Does Bluebook citation style and user can also create a citation template. $115.95-$299.95 depending on edition.

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Reference management and citation tool free through St. Thomas. Does Bluebook citations.

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A Thomson Reuters product. Reference management and citation tool. Compatible with Word and WordPerfect. Harvard Law Review (Bluebook) citation style can also modify style or create your own. $239.95.

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Software designed to assist you through the entire legal research and writing process.  Allows you to import citations from on-line legal databases such as Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis, organize your research, insert properly-formatted citations directly into your word-processing document, and create a table of authorities.

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Citation Online
Bibliographic and research note software.

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Resources covering multiple styles

The following resources cover at least two of the following styles for citing sources:  MLA, APA, Chicago, Sociology, Science:

What this page is for

This Guide provides information on how to format the main Citation Styles that are used at the University of St. Thomas. 

Each tab identifies the specific format and general examples, as well as information on Style Manuals which provide more specific information.

Introduction to Citing Sources

Introduction to Citing Sources

Why should I cite my sources?

All research sources should be identified and cited in your research report/paper whether they are print resources or electronic articles or Web sites or classroom notes.  Not only does it enable others, as well as yourself, to find the source listed, but it also gives credit to the person whose work you quoted or paraphrased, or whose ideas you incorporated into your own report. 

When you do research for a paper, write down all the necessary information needed to locate the material in a citation format.  When accessing Internet resources, be sure to WRITE DOWN the URL. Another option is to use RefWorks.

What style guide should I be using for my research?

There are different citation styles depending on your field of study:

  • Humanities/Fine Arts:   Modern Language Association (MLA) or Chicago Style, depending on the requirements of your instructor.
  • Social Sciences:   American Psychological Association (APA) or American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • Business:   Either APA or MLA, depending on the requirements of your instructor.
  • Sciences:   There are several formats depending on your specific field of study.  The major one is the Council of Science Editors (CSE). Check out the Science tab for other options.

What is the difference between footnotes, endnotes, and notes within the text?

When you are quoting or making a reference to information directly from another source, you must always identify that source. You do this in a note. Notes are called Footnotes when they appear at the bottom of the page and Endnotes when they are collected at the end of each chapter or of the entire paper.  Frequently notes are cited within the text of your paper. Some citation styles only use Notes Within the Text.

What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is Citation Management Software which helps you keep track of the citations for the resources that you use in your research.  UST provides access to RefWorks, and you can continue to have access to your RefWorks account after you graduate from St. Thomas.  Most of the time you can export directly to RefWorks from the database where you found your citation.  You can create individual folders for every paper or report that you are working on.  When you have all your citations, you can then click a few buttons and RefWorks will create your bibliography/reference list using the specific citation style that you need to use.

WARNING:  Since RefWorks uses the information that it gets from databases and Web sites, the final version may be incorrect (i.e. missing information or in the wrong order).  You still need to know how to do the specific citing style that you are using.

Also, there are other free citation tools available on the Web, such as Zotero.


CLIC Plaigiarism tutorial

Concerned about Plagiarism? You should be! View this multi-media tutorial for more information.

UST Center for Writing

UST Writing CenterWould you like some expert assistance with writing and editing your paper? 

Check out the resources available from the Writing Center.

"Refereed" or "Peer-Reviewed Journals Information

"Peer review" is the process through which experts in a field of study examine and assess the quality of articles before they are published.  Peer review insures that the research described in a journal's articles is sound and of high quality.

Sometimes the term "refereed" is used instead of peer reviewed.

You can identify Peer reviewed journals in the following sources:

USE BOTH PUBLICATIONS.  Neither identifies all peer reviewed journals, but together they are almost complete.