Skip to Main Content

Citation Guides: Home

MLA, APA Citation Guides, Citation Machine and More.


Welcome to the Panola College citation assistance home page!  Keep in mind, "citation style" actually covers more than just your works cited or references.  It is a complete style of writing!  This includes your cover letter, what pronouns you use when referring to groups, even if you have to write out numbers!  So, always refer to the style guide or one of the listed resources if you have a question about how to style your work. On these pages you will find links to citation help for the top three citation styles found on our campus.

Cartoon via Grammarly

Citation vs Copyright vs Plagiarism

Citation is how you avoid plagiarism and copyright violations.

Citation - tells your reader where a quote or idea came from

Copyright - set of laws aimed at protecting people's ideas, words, concepts

Plagiarism - act of passing off someone else's work as your own

Free Microsoft Office for Panola College Students

Why Cite?

Although we may casually share clips of content with friends in our online world, this doesn't apply to serious academic inquiry.  Giving credit at every opportunity to the work of others in academic writing is how we show we have done research to develop arguments and viewpoints.  We build on the work of others in order to form new knowledge!  We must cite the work that came before us to help readers understand how we reached our conclusions. 

Citing and giving credit is not a weakness but a sign that you did your work!  Every researcher cites other researchers!  The citations at the end of the paper give new researchers breadcrumbs back to the original research.  


How Do I Know Which Citation Style To Use?

Each field has a different citation style as standard practice.  However, when in doubt double-check the course syllabus and/or contact your course professor!

This is a very general guide:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
  • Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts

Did you know there are actually even more citation styles along with the big Academic 3?  Other styles include:

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Style

American Medical Association (AMA) Style

American Sociological Association (ASA) Style

Common Knowledge

Common knowledge is the idea that everyone knows x information therefore you do not need to cite.  There is no set rules for common knowledge.  Each academic discipline has a different standard.  So when in doubt check with your professor. Always cite a direct quotation.

Here is handy flowchart from the University of Toronto Libraries (2022) to help you decide if you need to cite that piece of information:

common knowledge

Citation Manuals In the Library