Style, Citing, & Referencing

You will likely be asked to use a variety of citation and referencing styles throughout your career at Michigan Tech and beyond.

Here are basic guidelines for each style. Regarding paper formatting, headings, etc., ask your faculty if there is a template or guideline you should use for their particular course. There are citation generators and research tools available for Tech students, such as Zotero and Endnote. Zotero has IEEE style while Endnote does not. These programs can make mistakes, but are helpful to organize sources and generate a first draft of references. The library has support resources on using these tools. And you can always make an appointment with us!

Make an Appointment!

Where should you find the information you need for references and citations?

You can do so easily with a little digging and some library tools! Check out our videos on how to use the library database's citation tool and the source itself. 

Finding Reference and Citation Information 

Finding Reference and Citation Information Part 2

Web Sources

AP style:

Rather than focusing on giving credit to outside sources in a uniform way, AP style guidelines mainly deal with how to describe certain common components of news articles like dates, age, and abbreviations. Do still give credit to sources in text, but generally this will involve the author’s name, year, any relevant context about the source (like expertise in a field, status as an interviewee, etc.), and potentially the title of a document/book. 

Learn More About AP Style

American Psychological Association (APA):

Paper and Abstract Formatting: 

Use our easy template for your title page and abstract (if required) in APA style. The template includes these links on abstracts--how to format them as well as how to write them. 

Reading and Writing Abstracts

Abstract and Keyword Guide

In-text citations:

For in-text citations for APA style, cite the author by last name followed by the year. Both author and year can be in parentheses, or you can have the author name as part of the sentence followed by the year in parentheses. For sources with two authors, list (Author & Author, year). For sources with more than two authors, list the first author followed by et al. (Author et al., year). 

    • Helakoski (2022) found that writing centers boost student confidence.

    • Writing centers boost student confidence (Helakoski, 2022).

    • Writing centers can support students in many ways (Helakoski & Seigel, 2023).

    • According to Grimm et al. (2023), writing centers can act as learning communities for students.


Your reference list should be double spaced with hanging indents for each reference entry. 


Author, A. (Year). Title of book. Publisher. 

Kleinman, P. (2012). "Psych 101: Psychology Facts, Basics, Statistics, Tests, and More!" Adams Media.


Author, A. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, Vol#(Issue#), page range #-#, DOI in URL format.

de Vibe, Solhaug, I., Rosenvinge, J. H., Tyssen, R., Hanley, A., & Garland, E. (2018). Six-year positive effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on mindfulness, coping and well-being in medical and psychology students: Results from a randomized controlled trial. PloS One, 13(4), e0196053–e0196053.


Organization/Author. (Year or n.d. if no date). Title of page. URL.

National Geographic Kids. (n.d.). Check out the issue March 2024.

Learn More About APA Style

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Style (IEEE):

In-text citations: 

For IEEE, use brackets and a numeral to cite a source. You will cite in order of sources that appear in your paper, and this will correspond in the reference list. Once you cite a source, it is associated with that numeral for the rest of your paper. Citations should go within the sentence (before the period or other punctuation). You may also include author names in-text, but the bracket and numeral is all that is required. 

  • Writing centers boost student confidence [1]. 
  • Helakoski [1] noted that writing centers boost student confidence.

If you are citing more than one source, place a comma between bracketed numerals. If you are citing several sources that are in numerical order, you may place a dash between these. 

  • Writing centers boost student confidence [1], [2]. 
  • Writing centers can support students in many ways [1]-[4].


References should be a separate page at the end of your paper with References at the top of the page. Single space entries with double space between each entry. Each reference number should be flush left, then have spaces between that and the beginning of your reference.


[#]      Author, Title, volume, edition. City, State, Country: Publisher, year. [Online]. Available: URL. Accessed: month day, year.
[1]      S. Moaveni, Engineering Fundamentals: An Introduction to Engineering 4th Edition. Boston, Mass.: Cengage Learning, 2010. →Note this example is a print book.


[#]      Author, “Title of Article,” Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, pp. #-#, month year, doi: ##
[2]      K. A. Marra Rodgers, D. Shen and B. Bogue. “Women engineering students and self-efficacy: A multi-year, multi-institution study of women engineering student self-efficacy,” Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 98, no. 1, pp. 27–38, 2009, doi:


[#]      Author. “Page.” Website. URL (accessed month day, year).
[3]      Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Style. “IEEE Standards Association.” IEEE. (accessed March 20, 2023).

More About IEEE

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style: 

Paper Formatting: 

Your paper should have 1 inch margins and be double spaced. You may be asked to create a title page or just start with your title on the first page of your document. We have a template you can download with both options. 

MLA Paper Template

In-text citations: 

MLA in-text citations should include the author’s last name and page number where the source material appears. These citations can appear narratively or in parentheses. The page number should always appear directly after the quotation in either case. For webpage or online sources, no page number should be included, but the author or first item in the reference should be included for reader clarity. 


  • Writing centers “boost student confidence” (Helakoski, 37). 
  • As Helakoski noted, writing centers “boost student confidence” (37). 
  • As noted in “Why Writing Centers are Amazing”, they can “boost student confidence”. → note this last example as a web article with no author.


In MLA, the header on your page of references should be Works Cited (centered). All references should be double spaced without extra space between entries and apply the hanging indent.


Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Meyer, Michael and D. Quentin Miller. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Saint Martin’s Press, 2019.

If the book has two authors, list Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. 
If the book has more than two authors, list the first author followed by et al. Example: Helakoski, Claire, et al.


Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month [if relevant] Year, pages.

Massi, Elena. "Storytelling in Contemporary Fairy Tales: Little Lit, Folklore, and Fairy Tales.

Funnies by Art Speigelman and Francoise Mouly." Marvels & Tales, vol. 30, no. 2, 2016,

pp. 309-27,

Note: Months in MLA are abbreviated to three letters. 
If there is no individual author, the title should be listed to start the reference. 


Author. “Title of page.” Title of website. Publication Date [if applicable], URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

Thornton, Gypsy. “Warriors in Gowns and Other Plot Twists by Gina Pfleegor”, Once Upon a Blog, 2 Nov. 2021, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Webpages should include publication dates if applicable and authors if applicable. If neither of these are available, they should be omitted from the reference.

Additional MLA Style Resources