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Political Science & Public Administration

Information and research help for the discipline of political science and public administration.

How To Cite Your Sources

Which Citation Style Should I Use?

There are a variety of different ways, or styles, to cite your sources. Typically your professor will let you know which one to use for their class and will usually require you to use one of the three most commonly used styles. There are actually hundreds of citation styles, but the most commonly used are:

  • APA (American Psychological Associate)
  • MLA (Modern Languages Association)
  • Chicago

If you need help with citations, please contact a subject librarian. We will be glad to help!

CSU Libraries has the Chicago Manual of Style available through GALILEO and in print. The most authoritative style guides are the manuals published above. However for quick reference, here are some excellent style guides to help you. 

Style Guides From the Library Catalog:

Chicago Manual of Style - Available via GALILEO

Chicago Manual of Style (Print Version)Call Number: LB2369 .T8 2018Available at the Music Library, located in downtown Columbus

Online Style Guides:

Purdue OWL: Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition

Purdue OWL: APA Style

Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting


Citation Software

Citation management tools help you keep the resources that you find during your research organized and in one place. These tools are also very helpful because they can be used to easily format your bibliography and the citations according to the appropriate style (ALA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)

The following resources are free to use, although some have a paid subscription option. The free versions are more than enough to help you organize your citations. 


EndNote is an excellent software program that helps manage citations for bibliographies. The free version allows you to cite sources and you directly export citations from directly to EndNote. You will only be able to use the web version of the software if you use a free account. 


Mendeley is a free desktop and cloud application that helps you manage your research. It is a reference manager with built-in tools to help you read and annotate articles. It allows you to organize PDFs, other documents, and citations into folders and collaborate with other researchers. It backs up your research library and syncs with the web, and smart-phone or tablet devices. It is also a social network for scholars across the globe with an online research library that you can use to discover research papers.


EasyBib is an intuitive information literacy platform that provides citation, note taking, and research tools that are easy-to-use and educational. EasyBib is not only accurate, fast, and comprehensive, but helps educators teach and students learn how to become effective and organized researchers. The free version will help you generate citations onto a list that can easily be exported into a bibliography without any extra work. You can also create annotated bibliographies. The paid version will allow you to have more citation style options and will help with in-text citations and footnotes for your paper.