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University of Southern Maine
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Understanding Citations

A citation is a record of the essential elements of an article, book, or other source that let the user locate it.

The citation typically follows a professional style, such as APA, MLA, or others. Each style has two methods of citing:

  • In text citations (short citation used in the body of your paper or project):

“I do not like them, Sam-I-am” (Seuss, 1960, p. 4)

  • Reference/Work Cited citations (full citation listed at the end of your paper or project):

Seuss, D. (1960). Green eggs and ham. New York: Beginner Books.

It is critical to provide citations for ALL sources referred to in your research in order to give proper credit to the source and help others understand where your ideas came from. Failure to cite sources or to cite them incompletely is plagiarism. Use the materials provided in this guide for more complete information.

Links & Documents

Examples of Citation Style

Citation Managers

Citation managers are software programs that help organize and insert citations easily into your paper. USM provides support and training for Zotero, a free citation management tool.


Citation Styles