Elements of Citation

The Elements of Citation

MLA style is typically used in humanities based courses such as literature, history, and English. This style is used to cite books, journals, articles, websites, and anything else the student uses in their paper. A good example is the way in which a book would be cited here at the end of the page in the bibliography.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Publisher’s City: Publisher’s Name, Date Book was Published.

The best resource for MLA style is The Owl at Purdue. Their website includes every type of source needed to be cited in a paper, including electronic sources and academic resources with examples on each one. MLA Citation Style is another helpful source with examples clearly laid out on the page. Users will also find MLA Style at The Write Source and the MLA website helpful.

There are several resources available for those needing help in Chicago style. One of the better sources is The Chicago Manual of Style Online. The website has a question and answer section, a quick check guide, and examples of citations. There’s also the Chicago Manual of Style Citation Guide at Ohio State University and Chicago Style. Be aware that some professors list Chicago style as Turabian Style.

Chicago style looks different from MLA style and the book referenced would appear in the following way.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Date Book was Published. Title of the Book. Publisher’s City: Name of Publisher. 

Then there are the scientific citation styles such as APA, which is used by psychologists and doctors. A good resource is APA Style. This website is part of the official APA website and contains information on citing resources.

Other helpful resources include APA Formatting and Style Guide, and A Guide for Writing Research Papers.

A book cited in a paper using APA style would need to appear the following way.

Author Last Name, Author First Name. (Year Book was Published). Title of Book. Publisher’s City: Publisher’s Name.

There’s also CBE or CSE as it‘s now known. This is typically used in research papers written for science related courses. The Council of Science Editors Style is an excellent resource, with examples clearly laid out. Students will find another website helpful, CSE Citations.

The citing of a book in CBE or CSE should look this way:

Author Last Name, Author First Name. Date Book was Published. Publisher’s City (Publisher’s State): Publisher’s Name. p. page numbers used in paper.

While learning a citation style is often a little tricky in the beginning, with a little practice it becomes much easier. After citing enough sources, students are able to stop looking at how to cite each source and do it automatically. The websites listed here are a great way to learn more about the different styles. They include information on citing in footnotes, endnotes, and creating a bibliography or reference page at the end of the paper.

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