Skip to Main Content

ACS: American Chemical Society Citation Style

This guide will show you how to cite your sources using the ACS (American Chemical Society) citation style.

Live Help

Chat loading...

Related Guides

About ACS Style

Developed by the American Chemical Society, this style is often used for research papers and other works in chemistry and other disciplines.

It may seem like citing your sources is tedious, but it's important and there are many reasons to do it:

  • identify (cite) other people’s ideas and the information you use within your work
  • avoid plagiarism 
  • allow the reader to find your research sources
  • add credibility to your work

Each citation consists of two parts: the in-text citation, which provides brief identifying information within the text, and the reference list, a list of sources that provides full bibliographic information.

This online guide is based on the ACS  Style Guide, 3rd Edition published in 2006.

ACS Citation Style Quick Guides

Get the Official Guide

The official guide from ACS contains the rules for formatting works according to ACS Style.

Online Version

Online guide: Why Cite, from ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication (if asked to login use "Institutional login" and search for Thompson Rivers University and use your TRU credentials)

Print Version

A print version of the 3rd edition of the ACS Style Guide is also available at both Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses. This version is now out of date and the online guide above should be considered the main authoritative version.

ACS Style Guide3rd ed.

Location (Find using the call number: QD 8.5 .A25 2006:

  • Williams Lake Library REFDESK 
  • House of Learning Library, 3rd Floor)

Getting Help

Writing Centre

Do you need help writing your paper?  Having some concerns about citation?  Contact the Writing Centre or read their blog and make an appointment with one of their staff to help you.  


Are you having some difficulty finding appropriate sources?  Are you unsure if an Internet source is authoritative and reliable?  Do you get overwhelmed when trying to learn about all the different databases available for you to use?  Your Librarians are available to help you.  Make and appointment for some in-person, one-on-one time with your Librarian.  Click here, fill out the form, and a librarian will contact you to set up a time.

Avoiding Plagiarism

 Here are three different ways you can present information you have found in your research to consciously avoid plagiarizing.

1. Direct quote

When you use or copy the exact words or section of words from an author, you can surround that direct quote by quotation marks. Include the correct citation acknowledging the original author in your sentence.

2. Summary

Write a summary using your own words of the ideas or the text you want to use. Be original without using the words of the original work and be sure you cite that statement.

3. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is similar to a summary. It just means taking what you have read and rewriting it in your own words. You must cite that paraphrase.