Choosing a Citation Style


How to Choose a Citation Style

When Your Teacher Leaves it Up to You


Very often, when you have an assignment, paper, or project that requires citation, you will be given a specific citation style to use.  However, sometimes you will be given a choice between two styles, or your teacher will just say to choose any style but be consistent.  When this happens, there are a few of things to consider when making your decision.

First, is there a style that you will be using more in your chosen degree path?  For example, majors in psychology, the social sciences, education , and nursing generally require APA style.  English marjors traditionally use MLA.  If you can identifya citatioin style that you will be using in your major or career, try using that one, as it will benefit you to learn it and be as familiar with it as possible.

Second, if there is not a style you will need for your major or career, consider using the style that you are most familiar with.  Did you use MLA in high school?  You may want to choose MLA since you are more proficient with it.  

Thirdly, if you are ambitious and want to learn as much as possible while you are in school, consider picking a style that you have not used, or that you have used less.  Expand your horizons!

Whichever style you choose, there are resources at Northeast State to help you along the way.  The Library provides online Citation Guides for MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian styles.  The Writing Center can also help you understand the different styles, and the librarians are willing to assist you as well.


MLA book APA Book Turabian Book

  • Last Updated Apr 19, 2024
  • Views 6
  • Answered By Amy Lippo

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