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Hong Kong Baptist University Library Hong Kong Baptist University
 

Citing Sources (APA, MLA...)

Need help with citation? Start here!

Why cite?

Citation is a basic and essential part of academic writing at university.

Understanding the rules of citation in academic writing will also help you to avoid plagiarizing unintentionally. Plagiarism means taking someone else's words or ideas and passing them off as your own.

Plagiarism of any sort is not tolerated at HKBU.

The penalties for plagiarism at the University are severe. Learn how to cite properly so that you avoid this serious offence!

What is a citation?

What exactly is a citation? The video below explains this in less than a minute!

Citation Styles

Academics in different disciplines use different citation styles.

In this guide, we will cover two different citation styles in detail.

For those studying Social Sciences or Psychology

you will commonly use APA style.

For those studying Arts or Humanities,

you will commonly use MLA style.

For those studying Science

there are many different styles - ask your professor which one you should be using.

Other popular citation styles are:

For a detailed comparison of APA, MLA and Chicago citation styles, a citation style chart is available at the PurdueOWL.

There are many dozens of different citation styles out there. If the one you need help with isn't covered in this guide, come and ask a librarian!

Automatic citation generation

There are many online tools that make citations easier to manage. However, remember that automatic citation tools are never perfect. You still need to understand the rules for your citation style in order to spot mistakes.

Here are some good ones: