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Università della Svizzera italiana University Library Lugano

University Library Lugano

Guide to citing references


Any project, thesis or dissertation largely relies on information taken from other works. You can draw upon a multiplicity of sources when writing a text, such as books, articles, statistics, websites, etc. You may quote from a source, by reporting the original author’s exact words; you may paraphrase, by putting a passage from a text into your own words, or you may discuss ideas developed by other authors.

In any of these cases it is essential that you acknowledge your sources in order to:

  • respect intellectual property and avoid plagiarism,
  • enable readers to find the sources you cited,
  • document the range of your research.

This guide provides you with the basics on how to cite sources (printed and electronic) in the body of your text and how to list references at the end of your work.


APA style (author-date system)

Preferred in the social sciences

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Chicago style (author-date system)

Preferred in the social sciences

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Chicago style (documentary-note system)

Preferred in the arts and humanities

Read online





APA style: 2020 edition

Chicago style: 2020 edition