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Hope Library Guides

Research Desk Practice Exercises


Questions about citations frequently cross our desk, because the precise formatting and specific rules often confuse and intimidate students, particularly when they have to move between styles.  We would like you to be comfortable with the basics of citations in the three major styles common at Hope.  As citation questions get more complex, please do refer to a librarian, if possible, because there are a lot of little rules to dig into at times, as well as some interpretation involved. 

Important!  Both the Research Desk AND the Klooster Center handle citation questions (this is a common question, so we should both be able to help!).  You may get referrals from the Klooster Center for help with citations if they did not have time to work on them during their appointments.  Do the best you can with these, and refer them to a librarian when you are not sure.

The three styles common at Hope are: MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian.  Occasionally we will get questions about another style, like CSE or ACS, but these are rarer.  Keeps us posted if you are seeing other styles come up more frequently, so that we can provide more resources.




AMA (American Medical Association) and NLM (National Library of Medicine)


  1. Start with the source! - Make sure that you and the student are clear about the type of source you are working with (book, journal article, website, newspaper article, etc).  This is going to make a big difference in how the citation is formatted, so figure this out first before you go looking for a citation model.
  2. Find a good model - Find a model/example for creating the citation you need.  If you don't find a good one on the quick reference, consult the Hacker or PurdueOWL table of contents for your style to see if you can find a description of what you need and use that to navigate to the example you need.
  3. Talk through each part of the citation - Creating citations is even more confusing if you don't know what the basic elements are.  Not all students understand things like volume and issue numbers, publisher information, website sponsors, the difference between article title and publication title, etc, so walk them through the process of identifying these for their sources so that they can hopefully feel more confident doing this in the future.  If you are unsure of any of these things yourself, ask a librarian!
  4. Can't I just use a citation generator/engine? - Citation generators like KnightCite and Cite this for Me can be very helpful citation tools, and it is fine to use them.  Warning! It is important to remember that the generator will not think for you.  If you put the wrong information into a box or leave out something critical, then the generator will create an incorrect citation.  The same thing goes for using "pre-fill" options that some generators offer.  You aren't guaranteed that the generator is accurate in the citation information it is providing (particularly for websites), so you always need to double check this.  A good way to check is to hold the generated citation up to a model to make sure it looks right.
  5. What about the citations you find in databases?  They're from the library, so they're accurate, right? Unfortunately not.  These citations can be a good starting place, but you will still want to check them against a model, to confirm that they are accurate.

Citation Practice Exercise

Go to the Citation Practice exercise in LibWizard. For each of the resources, create a citation in the style requested in a separate Word Doc. After uploading, enter your mentor's email address to submit your answers.

Important - For this exercise, for the first three items, please create these citations from scratch.  For the last three you may use a citation generator.