Proper citation is an essential aspect of scholarship. Citing properly allows your reader or audience to locate the materials you have used. Most importantly, citations give credit to the authors of quoted or consulted information. Failure to acknowledge sources of information properly may constitute plagiarism. For an explicit definition of plagiarism, see the Boston University Academic Conduct Code.
For detailed instructions on how to cite within the text of your paper, please consult a style manual listed below. Please also note: some of the resources below do not cover every possibility you might encounter when trying to cite your sources. For this reason, it is suggested that you consult a style manual to create your bibliography.
A good overview of citation styles is available through Purdue OWL
BU Librarians often recommend RefWorks as the best tool to manage citations. Accounts are free for the BU community, and most importantly RefWorks can automatically create a bibliography in hundreds of styles. There are other such tools.
Finally, please also see our separate citation guides for Business students or for Science students.
There is no official guide to Harvard Style. If you Google “Harvard Style Guide” you will find many websites that list examples. One of the best guides is from Monash University. Look to the bottom of the page to get examples.
The official style manual for the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and suggested when citing documents from the associated databases MedLine and PubMed. The online edition supercedes the print edition as the most up to date.