Skip to main content

Style Guides and Manuals: Choosing the Correct Style

This research guide helps you find style guides, style manuals and other citation tools, both online and on the shelf; and introduces you to citation management software sources.

How to Know What Style Guide to Use

For most of your research writing, you will need to document the sources you use.

Your professor will specify the style you should use; each academic area uses a specific style. For example, psychology and other social sciences use the American Psychological Association (APA) style; humanities disciplines use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Ask your professor which one you should use.

Online tools are available to help you format your endnotes and bibliographies; see the Online Resources tab above. Or use the published hard-copy style manual for your discipline--many of them are available in the Libraries' collections; see the Paper Resources tab. Some databases  will also format your citations in various styles for you, or you can use software (e.g., EndNote) that will manage your citations for you, downloading them directly from the databases you search; see the Formatting Tools tab.

Ask a Librarian