Accurately documenting sources used for research is an important part of the writing and research process. Documentation is important because:

  • It is used to give credit for information originally written elsewhere.
  • Documentation enables others to find the same information again.
  • Failure to give credit for drawing on the work of others constitutes plagiarism.

All documentation (bibliographies, endnotes, citations, references, lists of works cited, etc.) should be done according to the style appropriate for the audience that will be reading or reviewing the writing. The best way to create a bibliography is to use RefWorks.  It allows you to create citations and bibliographies in many different formats. Ask each of your instructors or mentors which style they want you to use. Another good resource for quick answers about popular citation styles is the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.

The Thompson Library also subscribes to many different documentation style manuals including:

  • APA (American Psychological Association): for social sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association):  for literature, arts, and humanities
  • Chicago / Turabian:  for all subjects
  • CBE (Council of Biology Editors):  for natural sciences

These style manuals are available in the Thompson Library. Feel free to ask for help at the Reference Desk at any time.