A citation (or reference) is a short, multi-part description of a source. A good citation will lead the reader to the source of the information.
See our video on How to Read a Citation for assistance in understanding the parts of a citation.
Citations are usually created to conform to a specific style, so that researchers have a common language for writing and understanding citations.
Communication classes use the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Manual, which is available at the Mullins Help Desk.
Many databases provided by the libraries have a Citation Generator feature built in.When you are looking at the detailed information for an item that is of interest to you, look for a link or button for citing. If the link is available, you will see a screen which provides you with a handy APA style citation that you can cut and paste into your bibliography.
It is much easier to create your reference list if you gather your citation information while you are doing your research! Taking good notes now saves a lot of time later.
Citation managers are software programs that help you save and organize citations. They are helpful for large research projects using 20 or more citations, but are not really a time saver for smaller projects. Here are some commonly used citation managers.