What does it mean to use a style?
For any research paper, you must cite the sources that you use within the text as you discuss them and at the end of the paper in a bibliography commonly called a Works Cited or a References page. Universities most often use APA, MLA or Chicago style, and each style manual dictates how you should produce these citations, both in-text and in your bibliography.
Which style should I use?
MLA Style, or the Modern Language Association Style, is more often associated with the Humanities, for subjects such as literature, modern languages, cultural studies and the fine arts. APA Style, or the American Psychological Association Style, is more often associated with the Social Sciences - subjects like Psychology, Education and Political Science. Chicago actually has two different style options for citing and is used for a variety of subjects across disciplines.
If you aren't sure which style to use, speak with your professors - they may have a preference.
Print editions are the final authority
The print editions of the leading style guides are considered the authoritative source.
The ACS, APA, ASA, Chicago, CSE, MLA, and Turabian style guides are available in our Library at the Library Service Desk.
Additionally, Easy Writer summarizes the major styles and will answer most questions on citing; (a copy is available at the Information Desk and for purchase at the University Bookstore.)