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Introduction to Library Research

Choosing Citation Styles

There are many different citation styles and choosing one can be difficult. Instructors often specify which style they want their students to use, but sometimes the choice is left to the student. Below is a list of commonly used citation styles and the disciplines with which they are associated. Regardless of which style is used it is most important that that the same style is used consistently throughout the paper or manuscript.

Citation Styles


  • The APA style is the American Psychological Association style format used in psychology

  • The Chicago Manual of Style is used by some social sciences and humanities scholars and is nearly identical to Turabian style

  • MLA style is the Modern Language Association style most often used in English studies. More information can be found in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

  • ACM style used by the Association of Computing Machinery

Guides to Citation Styles



There are many Websites that offer summaries of the various styles, as well as suggestions for citing electronic resources.


  • MLA Handbook (2003)
    located at the O'Leary Reference Desk, UMass Lowell South.

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001)
    located at O'Leary Reserves, UMass Lowell South.

  • The Chicago Manual of Style (2003)
    located at both the O'Leary Reference Desk and in the Lydon Reference collection.

  • The ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors & Editors (2006)
    located at the Lydon
    Reserve Desk, UMass Lowell North.