A citation or reference is a short description of a resource that is used in a paper or project. Whenever you refer to or quote someone else's work, you must cite that source in your paper. You should also provide documentation for any facts or figures you use that are not common knowledge. All the sources you use will be compiled into a list at the end. This is called a Bibliography, Reference List, or Works Cited.
A citation or reference includes all the information needed for someone to identify and find the resource. Depending on the citation style, a citation may include any of the following: title, author, date, page numbers, publisher, place of publication, etc.
The parts of a citation will help you determine if it is a book, an article, a Web page, etc.
A citation style is the format used when citing a resource. Styles vary according to discipline. The same elements are there, but the formatting is different.
Common citation styles include:
For examples of each style, see the Styles/Formats tab above.