Citations are the standard method for responsibly acknowledging your sources. Failure to cite your sources properly is dishonest and a form of plagiarism. See our practical advice regarding plagiarism.

Three main styles you will encounter are:

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

This style is used in most of the classes at UArts. The Modern Language Association is a professional organization serving teachers of English and foreign languages. MLA style is commonly followed in the liberal arts disciplines.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 8th Edition.
Greenfield Reference LB2369 .M52 2016
Music Reference LB2369 .M52 2016

American Psychological Association (APA) Style

The citation style used by the American Psychological Association is the preferred style for the social sciences, which include education. If you are a student in any of the education programs (art education, museum education, dance education, music education) at the University of the Arts, you should probably follow APA style in your papers. Ask your instructor if you're not sure of which style to use.

The APA links below are for electronic citations only. For traditional print citations see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Greenfield Reference LB2369 .P82 2009x
Music Reference LB2369 .P82 2009x

Chicago Manual of Style

This style guide is published by the University of Chicago press, and is commonly used in historical journals. You may be required to use this style in art history courses.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers . 16th ed. University of Chicago Press, 2007.
Music Reference LB2369 .T929 M15 2007

Chicago Manual of Style. 16th edition. University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Greenfield Reference Z253 .U69 2010
Music Reference LB2369 .C45 2010

What is a style manual?

It is a guide that gives rules and examples of usage, punctuation, and typography for scholarly writing. How to cite print or online sources in a paper is one element of a style manual; other kinds of information in a style manual often include the basics of research, proper grammar and syntax, and so on.

UArts students who are taking or have taken First-Year Writing should have a copy of A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker. This book contains sections on how to cite sources in your bibliography as well as a good section on how to do research. Another book by this author is available in print and electronically:


For books you should record

  • author (complete name: last, first, middle initial if used)
  • title
  • chapter title, if you are not referencing the entire book
  • place published
  • publisher
  • date

You then arrange these elements into the proper format. The example below is MLA style for a list of works cited:

Author last name, first name. Title: Subtitle in Italics. City of publisher: Publisher, year published. Medium of publication.

Peppiatt, Michael. Alberto Giacometti in Postwar Paris. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2001. Print.


For articles you should record

  • author of article
  • title of article
  • title of journal/magazine
  • volume and/or number
  • date (include month, season, whatever is used)
  • page numbers

You then arrange these elements into the proper format. The example below is MLA style:

Author last name, first name. "Title of Article in Quotations." Title of Periodical in Italics. Volume.number (year): page numbers. Medium of publication.

Hochfield, Sylvia, and Simon Hewitt. "Giacometti's Competing Guardians." Art News. 102.10 (2002): 122. Print.


For Websites you should record

  • Author's last name, first name
  • Title of the short work, in quotation marks, as opposed to full website when appropriate
  • Title of the site
  • Date of publication or last update
  • Sponsor of the site (if not named as the author)
  • Date you accessed the source
  • The URL is optional, but your professor may want it included

You then arrange these elements into the proper format:

MacDonald, Sara J. "Research Tools and Resources: Style Manuals/Citing Electronic Sources." 29 Oct. 2003. The University of the Arts Libraries. 1 Nov. 2003.

These are just a few examples and are provided in MLA style. Consult your style manual, an online style manual, or a style manual in the library for more information and examples.

More Resources

Other Style Guides

  • The Chicago Manual of Style is a classic in the field. Go to The Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide scroll to the bottom for examples of citing electronic sources.


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