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Cite your Sources: Citation Styles

Resources to help you with your citations for essays and research papers

Why citation styles?

Citation styles are determined by discipline, like the Humanities or Sciences. Typically, disciplines fall under three main citation styles:

  • MLA (Modern Language Association): Humanities (English, Literature, Languages)
  • APA (American Psychological Association): Social Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Geography)
  • Chicago: multiple disciplines (History, Anthropology)

Citation styles exist because each discipline focuses on certain elements of a source. The Humanities focuses on authors, the Social Sciences focus on currency and neutrality, while History focuses on source origin. This is reflected in the way sources are cited in each style. 

Be sure to ASK your professor which citation style they want you to use.


Language Center

The Language Center is available for all Vol State students seeking help with
  • Thesis, focus, and development of ideas in writing
  • Organization and unity in writing
  • Style and diction in writing
  • Grammar, punctuation, and mechanics
  • Proofreading techniques
  • MLA, APA, or Chicago documentation style

Information for the center on the Gallatin campus, including hours and location, is available at

MLA Style

Online Resources

Library Resources

APA Style

Online Resources

Library Resources

Annotated Bibliography

According to Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) an "annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources." OWL's Annotated Bibliographies section offers more information on this special type of works cited/ bibliography including examples.