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Citation Styles: APA, MLA and Chicago Styles

This guide provides examples to help you document your sources of information.

Documentation or Citation Style Guide

A citation or documentation style "is a standard approach to the citation of sources that the author of a paper has consulted, abstracted, or quoted from. It prescribes methods for citing references within the text, providing a list of works cited at the end of the paper, and even formatting headings and margins.

Different academic disciplines use different documentation styles; your instructor may require you to use a particular style, or may allow you use one of your choosing." -- The Writing Center, The University of Wisconsin @ Madison

MLA Style

"The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, published in 2016, rethinks documentation for an era of digital publication. The MLA now recommends a universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any source and gives writers in all fields—from the sciences to the humanities—the tools to intuitively document sources." -- MLA

MLA Style is most commonly used writing papers and creating Works Cited pages in the fields of the liberal arts and the humanities.

MLA Style Sheet
This document provides citation examples using MLA Handbook Eighth Edition.

Citing Electronic Sources MLA
This document provides citation examples of electronic materials using the MLA Handbook Eighth Edition

APA Style

The American Psychological Association states that the style guidelines were developed "to advance scholarship by setting sound and rigorous standards for scientific communication.  They sought to establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, that would codify the many components of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension."  -- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, 2010.

The APA style for documenting sources has been used by psychologists as well as scholars in other social and behavioral science disciplines.

APA Style Sheet
This document provides citation examples for print and audiovisual materials.

Citing Electronic Sources APA
This document provides citation examples for electronic materials.

Chicago Style

"Chicago-style source citations come in two varieties: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. The notes and bibliography system is preferred by many working in the humanities—including literature, history, and the arts. In this system, sources are cited in numbered footnotes or endnotes. The author-date system is more common in the sciences and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and year of publication."  -- The Chicago Manual of Style Online, 17th Edition.

Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide
This document explains the difference between the notes and bibliography system and the author-date system.

Chicago Style Resources for Students
This document provides links to a variety of tip sheets, quick guides, and explanations about how to write in Chicago style.

Reference Librarian

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Hope Johnson
Dacus Library