The first things you need to know are which style your course requires and whether or not your professor has any special requirements.
Top guides to the most common styles (APA, Chicago/Turabian, & MLA) are listed here. If your course requires another style, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
It's a great idea to set up a citation management account so you can organize your citations throughout your college career and automatically export citations.
Also, look for citation helpers in the library catalog and databases.
When you've found a book, journal or article you'd like to use, look for a citation link that will give you a citation for the exact resource you're using in the most-used citation formats. You can copy and paste those citations, but be sure to check them against a citation guide just to be sure they're all correct.
CITATION MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Citation Managers allow you to save all your references in folders where you can also save notes and quotes, export citations and bibliographies, and use Word plugins that enable you to easily add in text citations and endnotes.
Which is best for you? That depends on how you work. See How do I organize citations? for more a comparison of these citation management programs.
The Chicago Style is used by some social science (e.g. anthropology) and most history journals.
IMPORTANT: There are two versions, Author-Date (Reference List) and Humanities (Bibliography). Pay attention to which version your course requires and look for that version in the guides below.
What about Turabian? The Chicago and Turabian Style are virtually identical. Kate Turabian's manual makes just a few changes to the standard Chicago style, adapting it for student use.
The MLA style is generally used in literature, arts, and humanities.