As a rule of thumb, you must correctly and fully cite any academic paper that you decide to write. As a matter of fact, course instructors are always carefully when evaluating the manner in which a given student has used a certain citation style. This is to say that there is no way that you can claim to be a good academic writer if you do not understand the given citation style that is used in the discipline that you have specialized in. Basically, citation can be understood as a way in which one acknowledges the authors of the various sources that he/she has used in his/her academic paper. It is also one of the best ways of avoiding plagiarism. There are numerous citation styles that are used in different academic disciplines. Some of the most common ones are: APA, MLA, Chicago as well as AMA.
To begin with, American Psychological Association (APA) is normally used in Psychology, sciences as well as in education. This is one of the citation styles that use the author date system of citation. In other words, when using this style of writing you need to indicate the surname of the author and the date of publication whenever you use the information from the given source of information in your paper. You are only supposed to include the exact page number where the specific information can be found when you are directly quoting from the specific source.
Modern language Association (MLA) is yet another popular citation styles. Notably, most humanities use this citation style. Unlike APA that uses Author date system this specific style uses author page number system. In other words, you are supposed to include the surname of the author and the specific page where the information that you have used to write your academic paper can be found. This system seems to emphasize on credibility of the author as opposed to how current a given source is.
Moreover, Chicago is also among the most popular citation styles. Normally this style of citing is commonly used in history, fine arts as well as history. It is quite unique as it utilizes endnotes as well as footnotes when acknowledging the specific source where certain piece of information has been derived. The corresponding source of the footnote or endnote which appears as a superscript in the text is then indicated in the bibliography. America Medical Association (AMA) is also quite common. This citation style is commonly used in medical sciences.