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Citing & Writing

Writing and citation styles are used to maintain standards and consistency in scholarly publishing. When writers use the same formatting standards it makes it easier to read, review, and compare literature. Style guides are not just for formatting citations and references. They are used to organize the content for your entire paper.

As a student you may be taking courses in multiple subject areas and the differences in styles can be confusing. This page will help you identify the distinguishing features of each style and help you find the guides you need to format your writing.


Citations identify the source where you originally got your information, whether that is a quote, statistics, or general ideas. Citations are used in almost all forms of scholarly communication, such as papers and presentations. Including citations is essential and ethical, as it gives credit to the original author(s) and tells your reader where they can find out more.

Many electronic resources, such as the Libraries’ Databases, journal article websites, as well as Google Scholar, offer a feature to quickly create a citation in styles like APA, MLA, or Chicago. 

Use the information generated as a starting point for your citation only. Be sure to check the accuracy of the citation for authors, journal names, capitalization, etc. as the citation is not always accurate.

Creating Citations from Databases

Online Citation Generators

These generators include many different citation styles and can help you cite journals, books or websites. There are many citation generators. Some citation generators offer some features for free; advanced features may require a subscription. One recommended citation generator is ZoteroBib

Science librarians can help with:
  • Using the appropriate citation style.
  • Using citation management programs.
Writing tutors can help with:
  • Improving your writing and use of quotes, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
  • Knowing where and when to include citations.


  • Research paper (essay): in-depth documentation of research that has been carried out.
  • Annotated bibliography: short summaries and evaluation of multiple resources, such as journal articles, books, government reports.
  • Lab report: similar in structure to a peer-reviewed, original research article or research paper, a lab report documents work carried out in a lab-setting.
  • Book or critical review: commentary and critical analysis of a book or article.
  • Literature review: summarizing and synthesizing previously published research.
  • Thesis or disseration: long-form document that summarizes existing research and research that was completed as part of a Master's (thesis) or Ph.D. (dissertation) program.

The Academic Learning Centre at the University of Manitoba offers tutoring and workshops to help you improve your writing and study skills. Visit their website to learn more about supports available to undergraduate and graduate students. 

The Faculty of Grad Studies (FGS) also offers many academic supports and the Grad Steps and Mitacs workshop series. To learn more and register for upcoming workshops and events visit the FGS website.