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Find Style Manuals and Citation Guides

Style manuals provide guidance on grammar, word usage, punctuation, organizing ideas, and other aspects of writing research papers and scholarly publications. Some also give preferred citation formats for documenting the sources you used.

Your sources include any books, articles, websites, images, media, or other publications that you quote, or that contributed to the ideas you present. Failure to cite your sources is plagiarism, a serious violation of student and professional ethics and possibly of copyright laws.

Typically, you can identify sources by providing notes in parentheses within the text, or note numbers which link to citations giving enough information for a reader to find the source in a library or on the Internet. In addition, a bibliography or complete list of works cited is usually provided at the end of your document.

There are many citation styles that define formats for notes and bibliographies. Which style to use is determined by your instructor or, if you are writing for publication, by the journal or publisher.

Citation styles for humanities and social sciences

The most widely used style guides for these disciplines are listed below. These brief guides, used with permission from Purdue University, give sample citations and references to the complete printed guides:

  • APA Style Guide
    The American Psychological Association style is often preferred for psychology and other social sciences.
  • MLA Style Guide
    The Modern Language Association of America style is often preferred for literature, arts, humanities, and some other disciplines.
  • Chicago Style Guide
    From the work of Kate Turabian at the University of Chicago. Often preferred for history and many other disciplines. The full Chicago Manual of Style is also available online (UCB access only).

Citation styles for health, biomedical, and other sciences

If you are writing in a scientific or engineering discipline or if your instructor requires you to use a style different from those listed above, try the links below. Many journals and publishers in these disciplines have their own style guides.

Other style manuals

Many other style manuals are available in the libraries and can be found through OskiCat. To find a specific manual, search its title and/or author. For a generic list, choose the Keyword(s) option and enter: (writing or style) manuals. To make the search more specific, you can add words such as history or biology.

Citation management software

You may want to use a bibliography/footnote-management program, such as EndNote, RefWorks, or Zotero, to store and format citations in a wide variety of styles. Help pages for using these programs are available from the Bioscience and Engineering Libraries.

For more information

See our page on Citing Your Sources.

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