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Cite Sources: Basic Citation Information


Welcome to WCC's libguide on citing sources.  Here you'll find general information about citing sources in both MLA and APA formats.

Featured Resources

    cover of the mla handbook  cover of apa handbook    


What Style Should You Use?

Your instructor will usually specify the citation style required for your paper or project. Always check with him or her about any specific questions regarding expectations and requirements. Some general guidelines:

MLA style - typically used in the Humanities (e.g., English)

APA style - used for Social Sciences (e.g., Psychology, Sociology) and other Sciences


Printable Citation Guides

Use the links below to see examples of source citations chosen by WCC's librarians and WCC's Writing Center instructors.  If these examples don't help you, remember to verify the accuracy of your citations by using the official style manuals.

MLA and APA Style Manuals

For citing sources, MLA and APA are the two most common documentation styles required by WCC instructors. The rules for these styles are provided in the manuals listed below. They can be found in print in the library's reference collection; and there are copies in the general collection that you can check out. 

These style manuals are considered the authorities for citation and formatting rules.


Citation Generators

Citation generators are online tools that create your citations for you.  You just type in titles, authors, etc. and the citation is generated. 

Just remember: GARBAGE In, GARBAGE Out.  KnightCite does not correct your capitalization or spelling.

The WCC librarians recommend KnightCite as the easiest and most reliable of the free citation generators.  Try it!


  screenshot of Knightcite citation generator



Citation Help in the Research Databases

Gale databases provide two sources of citation help. For most items, look at the bottom of the record to find the "Source Citation" in MLA style. Or, use the "Citation Tools" option on the right side of the database screen, which also offers APA formatting.

Examples of Gale databases:

  • Academic OneFile
  • General OneFile
  • Health Reference Center Academic

PsycArticles allows you to mark records and then save or e-mail them to yourself using the citation style of your choice.


OmniFile Full Text Select and Academic Search Elite also provide help with citations. When viewing a full record, click on the "Cite" link (in the right column) to bring up formatted citations in all the major styles.


CINAHL Plus with Full Text also offers a "Cite" link when viewing full records (see right column).


Other databases have variations on the above examples.




Subject Guide

Kathleen Scott
4800 E. Huron River Dr.
Bailey Library, GM 126
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 973-3430

Further Help with Citations

Still have questions?  These websites provide extensive examples and help with documenting sources. 

 The OWL at Purdue -- MLA

 The OWL at Purdue -- AP