All work submitted to the IBO, e.g., for the MYP Personal Project or the DP Extended Essay, must be academically honest, which means acknowledging any words, material or ideas of other people, in line with IBO Learners being “Principled.”

For a full explanation of referencing — why to cite, what to cite, when to cite, and how to cite — we recommend you read the 16-page document — “Effective citing and referencing” — published by the IBO in 2014.  In-text or inline citation is recommended and three main types are explained:  author, author-date, and numbered footnote.

Note that the IBO does not require one particular referencing style.  Instead they only expect you to be clear and consistent when citing sources, such that any reader can easily distinguish between your words/work and that of others you have used.

However, NIST expects you to learn to follow one of the major referencing styles.

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) — this is an example of the Author-Page type of inline citations
  • APA (American Psychological Association) — this is an example of the Author-Date-Page type of inline citations
  • Chicago — this is an example of the type that uses numbered footnotes at the bottom of the page

NB:  Footnotes are only used to cite material in the Chicago style.  The other two styles — MLA and APA — use in-text or inline citations.  This means the citation is given in the body of the text when it is used.


MLA is the default referencing style at NIST, however, the Science and Mathematics Departments in High School have chosen APA as their referencing style.