navigation
Grossmont Collegeskip navigation
Apply & Enroll Departments Help for Students Find People Online Services Campus Information Student Activities

    Library > Library Instruction

Send feedback on this site to the web team
  Library Home Page

 

  Citation Help

When writing a research paper, it is necessary to give credit to others when presenting information or ideas that are not your own. By letting readers know precisely where you found such information, you avoid the risk of plagiarism, or using someone else's words or ideas and presenting them as your own. To let readers know when you present the words and ideas of others, you must include citations in your paper.

In order to ensure the systematic and orderly representation of citations, style guides have been published by various institutions that show how they should be presented. It is necessary to follow specific guidelines when creating citations so that you have an easier time of organizing your sources and also so your readers (instructor, classmates, etc.) are given a clear picture of where you found the information being presented.

The two most widely used style guides are published by the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). If your instructor has a preference for which guide to use it may be notated on the course syllabus; if not, you may need to ask your instructor. Other popular style guides include Chicago and Turabian.

To continue, please select from the following list:

          MLA - Modern Language Association Style

          APA - American Psychological Association Style

          Chicago Style

          Turabian Style
          Automated Style Guides

          Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 


MLA - Modern Language Association Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is most widely used for papers published in the liberal arts and humanities fields. The information in this section is taken from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., which can be located in the Grossmont College Library with call number LB 2369 G53 at the Reference Desk and in Reserves; it is also available for purchase at the beginning of the semester at the Grossmont College Bookstore. For questions not addressed here, please refer to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., or ask a librarian.

Getting Started

There are two parts to creating a citation in the MLA style. The first part of creating a citation is making a brief note in parentheses in the text of your paper (called an in-text citation) to show when you use words or ideas taken from another source. MLA style requires the use of parentheses to cite sources rather than footnotes or endnotes. To cite information, include the author's name in the text of your paper or in parentheses, and the specific page number of where the information is located in parentheses. The following two examples illustrate these two options:

 

 

Ancient writers attributed the invention of the monochord to Pythagoras, who lived in the sixth century BC (Marcuse 197). [In this example, both author's name and page number are placed in parentheses.]

 

 

According to Balling (712), the horrors of climate change in Canada will become more obvious after the year 2012. [In this example, the author's name is used in the text, so only the page number is placed in parentheses.]

 

 

The brief note in parentheses, or "in-text citation", alerts the reader that we found the information presented in this sentence in a source written by someone with the last name Marcuse, and that the specific page of the source is page 197.

The second part of creating a citation is providing specific information about each in-text citation at the end of your paper. By giving the readers of your paper the author, title, and publication information of each source, you provide them with necessary information they will need to access the same materials. This step also helps create a record of the research you did.

This additional information should be listed on the last page of your paper and titled "Works Cited". The entries on this page, as well as the body of your paper, should be double-spaced. In the following example of a Works Cited page based on the in-text citations above, notice that authors are listed in alphabetical order by last name and that if a citation is more than one line additional lines are indented:

 

Works Cited

Balling, Robert. "Hard Choices: Climate Change in Canada." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95.3 (2005): 712-713. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Feb. 2008.

 

Marcuse, Sybil. A Survey of Musical Instruments. New York: Harper, 1975. Print.

 

 

The MLA style guide provides specific instructions on how to format the citations in the Works Cited page for different types of sources used. Formats with examples of common sources you may cite are below. While these are merely a few types of common sources to point you in the right direction, there are more listed in the linked materials at the bottom of this page. If you have further questions, please consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., which can be located in the Grossmont College Library with call number LB 2369 G53 at the Reference Desk and in Reserves. You may also ask a librarian.

 


 

SELECTED FORMATS IN MLA STYLE:

Book Format (with one author)

Take the title from the title page, not from the spine or cover. Publication information should also be taken from the title page or from the back of the title page. The author's name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name.

Author (Last Name, First Name). Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.

        Medium of publication.

Skidmore, Thomas. Modern Latin America. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.
 



Book Format (with two or more authors)

 

List the names in the order in which they appear on the title page. Only the first author's name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name. For all subsequent authors, list the first name first (e.g. First Name, Last Name). Use a comma between author's names, use "and" before and a period after the last author's name.

First Author (Last Name, First Name), Second Author (First Name, Last Name). Title of

Book
. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.
Medium of publication.

Eggins, Suzanne. Analysing Casual Conversation. London: Cassell, 1997. Print.

Merk, Jane S., Ida J. Fogg, and Charles A. Snowe. Astrology for the Beginning

Meteorologist
. Chicago: Darkweather and Clere, 1987. Print.


 

Electronic Book

 

Electronic books are internet-accessible books that have been digitally uploaded to the internet. These electronic versions of books are based on actual print versions of the same book so the citation is similar. In addition to the author(s), title, and publication information, also give the name of the site hosting the book as well as the medium of publication and the date of access.

Author(s). Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year. Name of Website hosting

the book.
Medium of publication. Date of Access.

Benson, John F., and Maggie H. Roe. Landscape And Sustainability. Taylor & Francis

 

            Routledge, 2007. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 4 Nov. 2011.

 


 

Encyclopedia Articles & Reference Books

When citing familiar reference books, do not give full publication information; list only the edition (if stated) and the year of publication.

Author of Article (if given). "Article Title." Title of Book. Edition (ed.) Year. Medium of publication.

"Ginsburg, Ruth Bader." Who's Who in America. 56th ed. 2002. Print.

Mohanty, Jitendra M. "Indian Philosophy." The New Encyclopedia Brittanica: Macropaedia.

15
th ed. 1987. Print.

When citing less familiar reference books, include full publication information including editor(s), edition, volume number, place of publication, publisher name, year of publication, and medium of publication:

Allen, Anita L. "Privacy in Health Care." Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen G. Post.

3rd ed. Vol. 4. New York: MacMillan-Thompson, 2004. Print.

 


 

Journal Article

 

Scholarly journals tend to rely on their volume numbers rather than a date to identify individual issues. The main things to include in citing a journal article are: author's name, title of article, title of periodical, issue information (volume, issue number, month or season), year, and the page numbers of the article. If a journal has a volume and issue number, combine the two numbers with a period. For example, Volume 4 Issue 57 would become 4.57.
 

Author. "Title of Article" Title of Journal Volume number. Issue number (Year):

Page numbers. Medium of publication.

 

Little, Jo, and Oucain Jones. "Masculinity, Gender, and Rural Policy." Rural Sociology 65.4

(2000): 621-640. Print.

Read, Andrew T., Phebe Drinker, and Simon Northridge. "Bycatch of Marine Mammals in

U.S. and Global Fisheries." Conservation Biology 20.1 (2006): 163-169. Print.


 

Article from an Online Periodical

Online periodicals, including scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines, are accessible through Grossmont College's databases. In order to cite these articles, it is necessary to include not only the author, title, and name of journal but also the name of the database (in italics) used to access the article, the name of the service, the name of the library or library system subscribing to the service, the date of access, and the internet address of the service’s home page.

Author. "Article Title." Journal Title Volume number. Issue number(if given) (Year): Page

 

numbers. Name of Database. Medium of publication. Date of access.
 

Balling, Robert. "Hard Choices: Climate in Canada." Annals of the Association of

American Geographers
95.3 (2005): 712-713. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29

Mar. 2008.

 


 

Entire Website

 

The typical entry for a website consists of the title of the site, the editor of the site, the electronic publication information (such as when it was published or last updated), the name of the sponsoring institution or organization, medium of publication and finally the date of access. If you cannot find some of this information or some parts are unavailable, cite what is available.

 

Name of the editor/author, etc. of site (if given). Title of the site. Version or edition

used. Publisher or sponsor of site (if not available, use N.p.). Date of publication

(if not available, use n.d.). Medium of publication. Date of access.
 

Librarians' Internet Index. The iSchool at Drexel. 2009. Web. 1 Sept. 2009
 

Salda, Michael N., ed. The Cinderella Project. Vers. 1.2. U of Southern Mississippi,


Oct. 2005. Web. 15 Aug. 2009.

 


 

Short Work From a Website

 

The typical entry to cite a short work for a website consists of author's name (if given), title of the

short work in quotation marks, title of the site italicized, sponsor of the site, date of

publication/last update, medium of publication, and the date you accessed it.

 

Name of the author. "Title of the work." Title of the site. Publisher/sponsor of site (if

not available, use N.p.). Date of publication (if not available, use n.d.). Medium

of publication. Date of access.

 

            "Freud, Sigmund." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2008. Web.

                        13 Apr. 2009.


 

ADDITIONAL MLA RESOURCES:

 

  • Check out & print Grossmont College Library’s MLA Quick Guide for fast & easy reference.

  • Let NoodleBib generate an MLA citation for you.

  • Let Citation Machine generate an MLA citation for you.

  • If using Word 2007, learn how to manage your Works Cited page as you type your essay.


 

 

APA - American Psychological Association Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is most widely used for papers published in the social and behavioral science fields such as psychology, sociology, history, and political science. The information in this section is taken from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which can be located in the Grossmont College Library with call number BF 76.7 P83 2001 at the Reference Desk and in Reference Books; it is also available for purchase at the beginning of the semester at the Grossmont College Bookstore. For questions not addressed here, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, or ask a librarian.

Getting Started

There are two parts to creating a citation in the APA style. The first part of creating a citation is making a brief note in parentheses in the text of your paper (called an in-text citation) to show when you use words or ideas taken from another source. APA style requires the use of parentheses to cite sources rather than footnotes or endnotes. To cite information, include the author's name in the text of your paper or in parentheses, and the date the source was published in parentheses.  If you quote from another source or refer to a specific part of a source, also include the page number in your citation. The following examples show different formats for in-text citations:
 

 

Ancient writers attributed the invention of the monochord to Pythagoras, who lived in the

sixth century BC (Marcuse, 1975).
[In this example, both author's name and date of

publication are placed in parentheses.]

 


According to Marcuse (1975), ancient writers attribute the invention of the monochord to

Pythagoras, who lived in the sixth century BC.
[In this example, the author’s name is used

in the text, so only the date of publication is placed in parentheses.]

 


"Emotions also set the boundaries for proper social behavior within a community. Widely

known and shared feelings of fairness often deter people from behaving selfishly"

(Mellers, 2000, p. 921).
[In this example, the page number is listed because it is a direct

quotation from a source.]

 

 


The brief note in parenthesis, or "in-text citation", alerts the reader that we found the information presented in the first two examples in a source written by someone with the last name Marcuse, and that the date of publication of the source was 1975.

The second part of creating a citation is providing specific information about each in-text citation at the end of your paper. By giving the readers of your paper the author, title, and publication information of each source, you provide them with necessary information they will need to access the same materials. This step also helps create a record of the research you did.

This additional information should be listed on the last page of your paper titled "References." Entries on this page, as well as the body of your paper, should be double-spaced. In the following example of a References page based on the in-text citations above, notice that authors are listed in alphabetical order by last name and that if a citation is more than on line, additional lines are indented:

References

 

Marcuse, S. (1975). A Survey of Musical Instruments. New York: Harper.

 

 

Mellers, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological

Bulletin
, 126(6), 910-924.


The APA style guide provides specific instructions on how to format the citations placed on the References page for different sources used. Formats with examples of common sources you may cite are below. While these are merely a few types of common sources to point you in the right direction, there are more listed in the linked materials at the bottom of this page. If you have further questions, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association which can be located in the Grossmont College Library with call number BF 76.7 P83 2001 at the Reference Desk and in Reference Books. You may also
ask a librarian.

 


 

SELECTED FORMATS IN APA STYLE:

 

Book Format (with one author)

 

Take the title from the title page, not from the spine or cover. Publication information should also be taken from the title page or from the back of the title page. The author's name should be reversed: Last Name, First Name.

 

For the author's name, use the last name, and author's initials for first and middle names. There should be a space between initials if you use both first and middle initials (e.g. Rowling, J. K. instead of Rowling, J.K.). The date of publication should be listed in parentheses after the author and there should be a period outside of the second parenthesis.
 

Author's Last Name, Author's First Initial. (Date of publication). Title of book. City of   

publication: Publisher.


 

Skidmore, T. (2005). Modern Latin America. New York: Oxford University Press.

 


 

Book Format (with multiple authors)

 

For two or more authors use an ampersand (&) before the last author; for three or more authors, use commas to separate all but the last two authors (which have an ampersand between them).
 

Howe, R. & Trott, S. (1977). The power peddlers. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
 

Merk, J. S., Fogg, I. J. & Snowe, C. A. (1987). Astrology for the beginning Meteorologist.

Chicago: Darkweather and Clere.
 


 

Electronic Book

 

Electronic books are internet-accessible books that have been digitally uploaded to the

internet. The electronic versions of books are based on actual print versions of the same

book so the citation is similar. In addition to the author(s), date, title, and publication

information, also give the source of the site hosting the electronic book.
 

Author(s). Date. Title. Place of publication: Publisher. Retrieved from

Source.


 

Benson, J. F. & Roe, M. (2007). Landscape and sustainability. London: Routledge.

Retrieved from www.ebscohost.com

 


 

Encyclopedia Articles & Reference Books

 

 

Author(s). (Date of publication). Article title. In Name of encyclopedia (Volume, Pages).

Place of Publication: Publisher.

 

Bergman, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The new encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 26, pp. 501-

508). Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.
 

 

If an encyclopedia article does not have an author, place the title in the author position:
 

Relativity. (1993). In The new encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 26, pp. 501-508). Chicago:

 

Encylopedia Britannica.

 


 

Journal Article

 

Scholarly journals tend to rely on their volume numbers rather than a date to identify individual issues. The main things to include in citing a journal article are: author's name, year, title of article, title of periodical, issue information (volume, issue number, month or season), and the page numbers of the article.
 

Author. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, Volume number (Issue if

given), Pages.

 

Mellers, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological

Bulletin
, 126(6), 910-924.

 


 

Article from an Online Periodical

 

Online periodicals, including scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines, are accessible through Grossmont College's databases. In order to cite these articles, it is necessary to include not only the author, year, title, name of journal, volume number (and issue if given), and pages, but also the retrieval date and the name of the database hosting the online article.
 

Author(s). (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Periodical, Volume, Pages.

Retrieved month day, year, from Source/Database name.
 
 

Cylke, F. K., Moodie, M. M., & Fistick, R. E. (2007). Serving the blind and physically

handicapped in the United States of America. Library Trends, 55(4), 796-808.

Retrieved February 14, 2008 from Academic Search Premier.

 


 

Website

 

A website citation should include as much information from the following as possible: author,

 

date of publication/update, title, retrieval date, website address.


 

Author(s). (Date of publication/update). Title of document. Retrieval date, from website

address

 

Brians, P. (2008, Feb. 22). The Chernobyl poems of Lyubov Sirota. Retrieved May 13,

2008, from http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/chernobyl_poems/chernobyl_index. html
 

 

If the author(s) of a website is not given, begin the reference with the title of the document:
 

Global warming fast facts. (2007, June 14). Retrieved May 13, 2008, from http://news.

nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html
 

 

If there is no date given use "n.d." - which stands for "no date" - in place of the date:
 

San Diego zoo panda news. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2008 from http://www.sandiegozoo.

org/news/panda_news.html

 


 

ADDITIONAL APA RESOURCES:        

 


Chicago Style

While Chicago style is widely used, it is most commonly consulted for papers published in the humanities and history fields. The information in this section is taken from The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed, which can be located in the Grossmont College Library with call number LB 2369 C44 2003 at the Reference Desk and in Reference Books; it is also available for purchase at the beginning of the semester at the Grossmont College Bookstore. For questions you may have which are not addressed here, please refer to the The Chicago Manual of Style, or ask a librarian.

Getting Started

There are two different ways of citing sources in the Chicago style. The first, known as the Author-Date system, is similar to other widely used style guides such as MLA and APA style. This style will be discussed in detail below. The second, the Documentary-Note (or Humanities) system, is traditionally used in the social sciences and humanities. For discussions of this style, please refer to The Chicago Manual of Style or ask a librarian.

Author-Date system

There are two parts to creating a citation in the Chicago style Author-Date system. The first part of creating a citation is making a brief note in parentheses in the text of your paper (called an in-text citation) to show when you use words or ideas taken from another source. If you quote from another source or refer to a specific part of a source, also include the page number in your citation. The following are examples:

 

 

Ancient writers attributed the invention of the monochord to Pythagoras, who lived in the

 

sixth century BC (Marcuse 1975). [In this example, both author's name and date of

 

publication are placed in parentheses.]

 

 

According to Marcuse (1975), ancient writers attribute the invention of the monochord to

 

Pythagoras, who lived in the sixth century BC. [In this example, the author's name is used

 

in the text, so only the date of publication is placed in parentheses.]

 

 

"Emotions also set the boundaries for proper social behavior within a community. Widely

 

known and shared feelings of fairness often deter people from behaving selfishly"

 

(Mellers 2000, 921) [In this example, the page number is listed because it is a direct

 

quotation from a source.]

 

 

The brief note in parentheses, or "in-text citation", alerts the reader that the information presented in this sentence is in a source written by someone with the last name Marcuse, and that the date of publication of the source was 1975.

The second part of creating a citation is providing specific information about each in-text citation at the very end of a paper. By providing the readers of your paper with the Author, Title, and Publication Information of your source of information, you not only give credit to another person for their words and/or ideas but also create a record of the research you did.

This additional information should be listed on the last page of your paper and titled one of the following:  References, Works Cited, Literature Cited, or Sources Cited. In the following example of a References page based on the in-text citations above, notice that authors are listed in alphabetical order by last name and that if a citation is more than one line, additional lines are indented. Also note that individual citations that require more than one line are single-spaced (see Mellers example), while double-spacing is used between the individual citations.

 

References

 

Marcuse, S. (1975). A Survey of Musical Instruments. New York: Harper.

 

 

Mellers, B. A. (2000). Choice and the relative pleasure of consequences. Psychological


Bulletin
, 126(6), 910-924.

         

 

The Chicago Manual of Style provides specific instructions on how to format the citations placed on the References (or Works Cited, Literature Cited, Sources Cited) page for different types of sources used. Formats with examples of common sources you may cite are below. While these are merely a few types of common sources to point you in the right direction, there are more listed in the linked materials at the bottom of this page. If you have further questions, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style which can be located in the Grossmont College Library with call number LB 2369 C44 2003 at the Reference Desk and in Reference Books or ask a librarian.

 


 

SELECTED FORMATS IN CHICAGO STYLE (AUTHOR-DATE SYSTEM):

Book with one author

In writing an author's name, use the author's full name. Do not abbreviate the author’s first name unless the author generally only uses their initials (such as Rowling, J. K. or Eliot, T. S.).

 

Author's last name, Author's first name. Date of publication. Title in italics. Place of


publication: Publisher's name.

 

 

Barbour, Ian. 1974. Myths, models, and paradigms: A comparative study in science and


religion
. New York: Harper and Row.

 


 

Book with multiple authors

 

When citing multiple authors, only the first author's name is reversed (last name first). Subsequent authors are given with the first name first and are separated by a comma. However, a comma is not placed before the final authors name; use "and" before the final author's name.

 

Unwin, Liam P. and Joseph Galway. 1984. Calm in Ireland. Boston: Stronghope Press.

 

 

Merk, Jane S., Ida J. Fogg, and Charles A. Snowe. 1987. Astrology for the beginning


meteorologist
. Chicago: Darkweather and Clere.

 


 

Electronic Book

 

Electronic books are internet-accessible books that have been digitally uploaded to the internet. These electronic versions of books are based on actual print versions of the same book so the citation is similar. In addition to the author(s), title, and year of publication of the book, also give the internet address of the site hosting the book as well as the date of access.

 

Author(s). Date. Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher's name. Internet address of site

 
hosting e-book (accessed Month date, year).

 
 

Benson, John F. and Maggie Roe. 2007. Landscape and sustainability. London:

Routledge. http://www.netlibrary.com (accessed May 20, 2008).

 


 

Encyclopedia Articles

 

Encyclopedia articles are not cited in your list of References at the end of your paper. Rather, include the title of the encyclopedia, the edition, and the author of the article in the text of your paper:

 

"In his article about Burma in the international edition of the Encyclopedia Americana,

 

Silverstein points out that..."

 

 

"According to Rouse, in his article in the international edition of the Encyclopedia


Americana
, Carib Indians were
..."

 


 

Journal Article

 

Scholarly journals tend to rely on their volume numbers rather than a date to identify individual issues. The main things to include in citing a journal article are: author's name, year, title of article, title of periodical, issue information (volume, issue number, month or season), and the page numbers of the article.

 

Author. Date. Title of article. Title of Journal Volume number (issue number if given): Page


numbers of article.

 

Bennet, John W. 1946. The interpretation of Pueblo culture: A question of values.


Southwestern Journal of Anthropology
2: 361-74.  

 


 

Article from an Online Periodical

 

Online periodicals, including scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines, are accessible through Grossmont College’s databases. In order to cite these articles, it is necessary to include not only the author, title, name of journal, volume number (and issue if given), and page numbers, but also to give the website of the database hosting article as well as the date accessed.
 

Author. Date. Title of article. Title of Journal Volume number (issue number if given): Page


numbers of article. Website of database hosting article (and date accessed).

 

Schneider, Stephen H. 2004. Warning of warming. Nature 427(6971): 197-198.


http://www.ebscohost.com  (accessed May 20, 2008).

 


 

Website

 

For websites, give as much information from the following as possible: author, date of publication/update, title, website address (and date accessed).

 

Author (if given). Date. Title. Web address (and date accessed).

 

 

Brians, Paul. 2008. The Chernobyl poems of Lyubov Sirota. http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/


chernobyl_poems/chernobyl_index.html (accessed May 20, 2008).

 

 


 

 

Turabian Style

 

Turabian style, which is based on the Chicago Manual of Style, requires the use of footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography. For details on how to format citations in Turabian style, please consult A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations which can be found in the Grossmont College Library with call number LB 2369 T8 1996 at the Reference Desk and in Reserves. In addition, please feel free to consult the resources below or ask a librarian.

 


 

ADDITIONAL CHICAGO & TURABIAN RESOURCES:

·      Check out & print UC Berkeley’s Chicago/Turabian Citation Guide.

·      Check out & print Ohio State’s Turabian Citation Guide.

·      Let Citation Machine generate a Chicago style citation for you.

·      Let Citation Machine generate a Turabian style citation for you.

·      If using Word 2007, learn how to manage your Works Cited page as you type your essay.    


Automated Style Guides

Most of Grossmont's article databases offer the ability to reformat a desired citation into the format of your choice.  Watch for buttons and links that say "cite this article" or something similar.

Alternatively, Microsoft Word 2007 has a citation helper.  Click the "References" tab and go from there.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Which style guide format should I use?

 

Individual instructors determine which style guide they would like used by students in their course. To determine which style guide to use please consult each of your course syllabuses or your instructor.

 

 

Why cite sources?

 

By citing sources in your paper, you are letting readers of your paper know when you present ideas that you have taken from another person’s work. It is necessary to give credit to other authors if we quote them or even if we present general ideas taken from them. By creating a record of these sources at the end of your paper (on a Works Cited or References page) you allow your readers to do further research into the sources you used, and you also maintain a record of the research that went into your paper-writing process.

 

 

Why are style guides used?

 

Style guides are used for multiple reasons. One reason is to help a writer prepare an article or book for publication. Style guides ensure that all the articles in a journal have the same format or style to maintain consistency. Another reason style guides are used is for clarity of reading. By including in-text citations and a references/works cited page, a writer creates an easy-to-read format that tells readers where information was taken from.

 

 

What are the differences between style guides?

 

There are many differences between style guides but the majority of differences are specific details about how to format a paper for publication. For instance, in APA style the final page of your paper which includes your sources is titled "References" while in MLA it is titled "Works Cited". The final page in Chicago style is different still; Chicago style allows for this final page to be titled any one of the following: References, Works Cited, Literature Cited, or Sources Cited.

 

Another difference between the different style guides is that they are predominantly used in specific fields. MLA style, for instance, is widely used in the liberal arts and humanities fields while APA style is widely used in the social and behavioral sciences fields.

 

 

What should I do if the source I want to cite in my paper is not in the examples of this webpage?

 

If you get stuck on how to format a particular source, a good place to start is the text that corresponds to the particular formatting style you are using. If you are formatting your paper in APA style, for instance, you should consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Similarly, if you are formatting your paper in MLA style you should consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. These texts discuss how to format specific sources in great length, and copies of these as well as the corresponding texts to Chicago style and Turabian style are available at the Grossmont College Library. Another option is to ask a librarian.