How to Cite: Basic Elements and Common Styles

Style Guides

Consult an official guide for the style you are using to write your paper. There is no HKS school-wide policy that mandates a certain citation style for student papers, so if you are unsure, we recommend checking with the individual faculty member who assigned your paper to determine if they have a required or preferred citation style.

The Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is a popular citation style for the social sciences.

APA (American Psychological Association) Style

The American Psychological Association style, referred to as APA, is also used in the social sciences.

AP Stylebook

The Communications Program at HKS recommends AP Style for non-academic writing such as blog posts, op-eds and news stories.

Citation Tools

Many resources like HOLLIS and article databases will offer you citation information for individual articles and books, formatted according to various citation styles. When using this functionality, please remember to check these citations for accuracy before including them in your work. 

Instead of relying on these static—and potentially faulty—citations, however, we recommend that you use citation management software that can help you automate the process of keeping your citations up to date, even if you need to make changes. At HKS, the recommended citation management tool is Zotero

Writing Resouces

Last but not least, your friendly librarians at HKS Library & Research Services are happy to help you find and work with the wealth of resources Harvard Library has to offer. (For example, check out our Fast Answer on recommended library resources to start a literature review.) LRS is also the go-to support for Zotero at HKS.