Skip to Main Content
Montana State University - Home Montana State University Library - Home Ask the Library

Citation Help and Style Guide

This guide will provide information on APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian citation styles.

Get Formatted Citations using CatSearch

Use CatSearch to get your citations, formatted in all major styles:

  1. Search for the article or book by title in CatSearch
  2. Click on the title 
  3. Use the quotation mark icon to pull up the citation in all major formats
  4. Check the Format!! These are not always accurate, and it's up to you to make sure.

Shows what the screen looks like where you copy the citation format

Why is Citation Important?

It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • It connects your work to that of other scholars
  • It is one way that scholars enter into a scholarly conversation with each other.

Sources: Citing sources: Overview and Scholarly Conversations and You

Academic Honesty from MSU Conduct Guidelines for Students

The integrity of the academic process requires that credit be given where credit is due. Accordingly, it is academic misconduct to present the ideas or works of another as one's own work, or to permit another to present one's work without customary and proper acknowledgment of authorship. Students may collaborate with other students only as expressly permitted by the instructor. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, the appropriate citation of sources and the respect and recognition of others' academic endeavors.


Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense.

Plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. (

Citation Style Guides

Other Helpful Resources