Citation Frustration? These Sources Will Help.

Citing sources is important and necessary. It can also be confusing and frustrating. Every student is familiar with the nerve-wracking task of triple-checking their work to make sure the parentheses are in the proper place, the words are appropriately capitalized and italicized, and the punctuation is exactly right.

We (students, professor and librarians alike) are left to wonder why the people who create the rules don’t agree on a standard format.  Case in point, the three major citation styles even differ on what to call the list of citations at the end of a paper. In APA style it’s called a “Reference List”, MLA style refers to it as “Works Cited” and the Chicago Manual of Style uses the term “Bibliography”.  Fortunately, there are many excellent resources that provide citation examples and guidance:

Guide to Citing Sources

While this guide points you to many sources, here are my personal Top 3 Picks:

  1. Research and Documentation Online – the companion web site to the popular handbook, A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker. This site provides examples of APA (Social Sciences), MLA (Humanities), Chicago (History) and CSE (Science)  in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, informational notes, and Works Cited/Reference List pages. You may also view sample research papers.
  2. The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) – provides numerous examples for the general format of APA and MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and Works Cited/Reference List pages.
  3. And last but not least, our very own Bentley Library Guide to Citing Online Business Sources in APA Style. This guide provides a list of APA style citation examples for our business databases (e.g. Mintel, IBISWorld, ProQuest).

Ask a Librarian

Visit the reference desk or contact a reference librarian via email, phone or IM/chat.  Librarians can be especially helpful in cases where the style manual doesn’t have an exact example of how to cite an unusual source, like a Trading Room resource or a library database.


RefWorks is a citation management tool that the Bentley Library subscribes to. It’s a little like EasyBib, but different, and every Bentley student gets their own personal account. RefWorks helps you create bibliographies and format research papers in the citation style of your choice. RefWorks also allows you to easily organize and keep track of your references in folders in your RefWorks account.  Our citing sources guide has more information on RefWorks.  We advise you to create your account while you are on-campus.  If you need to create an account while off-campus, you will need to contact the Reference Desk for a registration code.

We hope you find these resources helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions!