Academic Citation Resource Guide

Academic Citation Resource Guide

A Comprehensive Resource for Students and Academics


Aside from adhering to the standards of academic integrity and properly crediting authors for their work, citing resources is important for another reason. It allows others to locate the materials you consulted for their own research or knowledge. Unfortunately, when it comes to citing sources, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, the citation style you use depends on the academic discipline you are researching within. To assist you, we’ve searched the Web to find the most helpful resources. Whether you’re using APA, MLA, CMS or some other major citation style, this Ultimate Citation Resource Guide has you covered via 40 links to style guides, FAQs, tutorials, quizzes, sample papers, and tools to make your citation and research processes more streamlined.

General Citation Resources

Whether you’re seeking information about academic citations in general or you want to how to avoid plagiarizing, this section delivers.

Why We Cite in Academic Writing

Understand the why and how behind citing academic writing to help you be successful.

Which Citation Style Should I Use?

This site compares the three most commonly used citation styles in academic writing.

Paraphrase: Write it in Your Own Words

Paraphrasing is a necessary skill academic writers must have to avoid plagiarizing the work of others. Find out how to do it correctly.

How to Summarize

Find out the correct way to summarize, which is a different skill than paraphrasing.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoid plagiarism by referencing this quick guide that details what you should and should not document.

Free Plagiarism Checker

After all the hard work you’ve put into your paper, the last thing you want is to be accused of plagiarizing. Avoid it with the free version of this plagiarism checker.

Citation Style Guides

When you need to consult a citation style guide, you have two options: the print or online version. Unfortunately, like the hardcopy versions, most online versions require that you purchase them for access to the information. However, we’ve found the following resources that will likely answer your formatting questions for the particular style you’re using.

Harvard Style Guide

A free, online version of the Harvard Style Guide, 6th edition. You must download the guide to gain access.

APA Style Guide

Free PDF of the American Psychological Style Guide, 6th edition. No download is needed to view.

Chicago Manual of Style

While not the full guide, this link takes you to links on the Purdue University website that will answer your Chicago style format questions.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide

Based on the MLA (Modern Language Association) Handbook, 8th edition, this link offers general formatting examples for MLA research papers, in-text citations and more.

Using AMA Style

The information provided here is from the 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors.

Style Guides FAQs

With all of the rules and guidelines within each academic citation style, it’s easy to become confused. Check out these FAQs about the different kinds of styles to provide you with some clarity.

FAQs about APA Style

This is a quick reference for people experiencing confusion with different areas of American Psychological Association style.

Ask the MLA

Do you have a question about Modern Language Association style? Check out this searchable database from the Modern Language Association Style Center.

Q & A for Chicago Manual of Style

From questions about abbreviations to those about word division, find your answers here.

AMA Style Insider

Check out the official blog of the American Medical Association Style Guide where you can find answers to user questions.

Ask the Editor: Associated Press Style Book

While the latest version of the AP Style Book costs money to access, you can access this Q & A site for free, which may help you answer your question.

Citation Style Guides Tutorials

Style guides can be overwhelming, so the following tutorials were created by different individuals. Take advantage of them to be more informed when using the actual guides.

Basics of APA Style Tutorial

New to APA style? This online tutorial walks you through the basics to give you a fundamental understanding.

MLA (8th Edition) Citation Format Tutorial

Gain an understanding of MLA citations via this helpful tutorial.

Harvard Referencing Tutorial

After viewing this tutorial, you will understand the basics of citing and referencing, how to cite sources, how to include quotations and more.

Tutorial: Citing Sources in Chicago Style

A complete tutorial on how to cite every source imaginable in Chicago Style.

AMA Citation Style Tutorials

Don’t leave your citations to chance. Instead, let this tutorial provide you with helpful tips and strategies.

Sample Papers with Citations

Now that you’ve looked over the style guides and participated in a tutorial, you may want a more concrete example of what the style you’re using looks like. Check out the links below for more information.

Chicago Manual of Style Sample Paper

When a using a new style, it’s helpful to view it within an actual paper. Follow the link to view this helpful resource from Purdue University.

Sample Papers in MLA Style

Learn how to organize an argument, work with sources and document in MLA style via these sample research papers.

Sample APA Style Paper

Check out this sample paper using APA style, 6th edition from Jeffrey H. Kahn, Department of Psychology, Illinois State University.

Harvard Sample Example

Follow this link to find an excerpt of a paper using Harvard Reference Style. Reference formatting examples are included.

AMA Style Paper

This sample paper serves as an example of how AMA style, 10th edition would look when citing sources within a paper.

Citation Style Quizzes

If knowing the ins-and-outs of citation styles is important, or you’d rather not have to consult a guide every time you have to document something, the quizzes below can help get you up to speed.

APA Citations Quiz

Test your knowledge of the rules of APA style for in-text citations by completing this 10-question quiz.

AMA Manual of Style: Reference Quiz

Test your knowledge of formatting American Medical Association references with this quiz.

Citation Games

Test your knowledge of the different citations and styles via a fun game. The site allows you choose a citation style.

MLA Style Quiz

This quiz contains 10 questions that will help you see how well you know MLA style.

AP Style Quizzes

Over 180 questions are available at this link to test your knowledge of AP Style.

Online Citation Generators

Go easy on yourself and let an online citation generator do all the formatting work for you. Check out the options below for the citation style you’re using.

Citation Machine

One of the top citation generators on the Web, Citation Machine creates citations in thousands of styles, including MLA, APA and Turabian.


In addition to being a citation generator, EasyBib offers an array of tools like note-taking and research resources.


An automatic citation generator for the latest editions of Chicago, APA and MLA styles


This tool is a free Chrome extension for Chicago style references only. It allows you to search for books and cite them automatically.

Class Tools

Class Tools has a search feature for resources such as books, websites and films and lets you choose the citation style you want to use for formatting.

Harvard Referencing Generator

Check out this quick and painless tool to generating Harvard style references.

Knight Cite

Use this tool as your go-to for any type of citations in MLA, APA or Chicago style.

Citation Manager Tools

Citation manager tools are most helpful for people who are compiling large research projects and need to keep track of the various resources they collect. Check out the options below.

How to Choose Zotero, Mendeley or EndNote

Need a tool to manage your citations, but you’re not sure which one would benefit you the most? Check out this helpful guide.


This free research tool gives users the ability to collect, organize, cite and sync all kinds of research with ease.


Create a free research account with Mendeley. If your research is mostly contained in PDF files, this tool will work well for you.


EndNote offers a free 30-day trial for users. Paying the subscription fee after the free trial will depend on whether the user requires the advanced features. If not, Zotero or Mendeley will suffice.