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The NSCAD University Library manages the largest dedicated collection of visual arts, craft and design materials in Atlantic Canada.

Writing Centre

Visit the Writing Centre page to Use this link to book your appointment!

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors can help you think through any stage of your writing assignments, in any year of your study. We can help with:

• Brainstorming                     

• Researching

• Formulating a thesis            

• Explaining, organizing, and connecting your points

• Grammar, spelling, punctuation           

 • English as another language

• Clarity and focus in your writing     

• Citations and documentation of sources

• Developing your voice as a confident writer

Why Cite?

As an academic writer it is critical to cite your sources for many reasons including:

  • To acknowledge and give credit to scholars, artists, designers, or any individual or group for their ideas, knowledge, and work that you have referenced in your own research.
  • To show your reader you have done quality research by providing the sources of your information. Your sources will provide a lens and voice of authority to your arguments, and will illustrate to your instructors and readers that you know how to find quality information sources to support your research.
  • To provide your readers with information about your sources so they can access them for further study.
  • To show evidence of academic integrity, and to avoid plagiarism by correctly quoting the words and ideas of those you are referencing in your own research.


The three most common citation styles used in courses taught at NSCAD are APA, MLA, and Chicago. Below is a quick summary of the three styles.  If you need a formatting guide to assist you with creating citations and bibliographies in APA, Chicago, or MLA, try out the citation style guides outlined for each style. If you are unsure of which citation style you should use for an assignment, ask your instructor.

APA Style Citation Guides

APA: The American Psychological Association (APA) style is often used in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences, and business. In-text citations and a reference list are required to correctly cite in the APA style. 

APA Style Guide
From Purdue University

Image Citations in APA
From Simon Fraser University

APA Style and Grammar Guidelines
From the American Psychological Association

MLA Style Citation Guides

MLA: The Modern Languages Association (MLA) style is used in the humanities.  MLA style requires in-text citations and a list of references for correct formatting of citations.

MLA Citation Style
From Purdue University

Image Citations in MLA
From MLA Style Centre 

MLA Citation Style
From Concordia University

Chicago Style Citation Guides

Chicago: The Chicago style of citation is used most often in the humanities and the arts. Chicago style can be used in two different ways, either with notes and bibliography, or author-date in-text citations.  If you are unsure of which way to format your citations for an assignment, ask your instructor. 

Chicago Manual of Style
From Purdue University 

Image Citations in Chicago
From Simon Fraser University 

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide
From the University of Chicago

Chicago Manual of Style
Shippensburg University

Avoiding Plagiarism

If you are looking for clarification on plagiarism, take a look at NSCAD University's Academic Integrity Policy 

Citation Managment


Zotero is a free tool for managing research sources from databases, library catalogues, videos, books, articles, audio, pdf documents, images, the web, or anything else you want to cite!  Zotero allows you to document and keep track of the research you are doing and allows users to create bibliographies and works cited lists quickly and easy, saving you time! You can view an introduction to Zotero here