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Research Tools

Citations assist you in conducting and documenting research by using primary sources, such as interviews and observations, and secondary sources, such as books, periodicals, and the Internet.


There are four major styles of citing sources in your papers:

What Are APA Style Citations?

The APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences, such as Psychology, Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, and Criminology, Business and Nursing.   This resource, revised according to the 6th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page.

The APA describes their citation style as follows:

The rules of APA Style, detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, offer sound guidance for writing with simplicity, power, and concision. APA Style has been adapted by many disciplines and is used by writers around the world.”  American Psychological Association. (2009, July). Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab has an excellent section on APA style you can visit here for detailed information.

What Are MLA Style Citations?

The MLA, or Modern Language Association, says it best…

All fields of research agree on the need to document scholarly borrowings, but documentation conventions vary because of the different needs of scholarly disciplines. MLA style for documentation is widely used in the humanities, especially in writing on language and literature. Generally simpler and more concise than other styles, MLA style features brief parenthetical citations in the text keyed to an alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of the work.

MLA style has been widely adopted by schools, academic departments, and instructors for over half a century. The association's guidelines are also used by over 1,100 scholarly and literary journals, newsletters, and magazines and by many university and commercial presses. The MLA's guidelines are followed throughout North America and in Brazil, China, India, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries around the world.

The MLA publishes two authoritative explanations of MLA style: the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing.”   "What Is MLA Style." Modern Language Association. Modern Language Association, 2010. Web. 15 Jun 2010. <http://www.mla.org/style>.

Please see the MLA section of the Purdue Online Writing Lab.   Here you will be able to review in depth what we have discussed in class as well as see in detail how to cite books, periodicals, electronic and other common sources.    

Here are two good documents for you to print out and use - MLA Examples and MLA In Text Citations.  These documents are in Adobe Reader format.   If you do not have the free Adobe Reader software on your computer, you may get it here:

Get Acrobat Reader web logo

What Are Chicago Style Citations?

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is the foundation for Chicago style citations.   Chicago style citations cover a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation.   The Chicago Manual of Style covers two styles of documentation: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in literature, history, and the arts, and the Author-Date System, which is preferred in the sciences.

The Chicago Notes and Bibliography system is often used in the humanities and provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through footnote or endnote citation in their writing and through bibliography pages. The Notes and Bibliography system is most commonly used in the discipline of History.

The proper use of the Notes and Bibliography system can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the intentional or accidental un-credited use of source material created by others. Most importantly, properly using the Notes and Bibliography system builds credibility by demonstrating accountability to source material.   "Purdue Online Writing Lab Chicago Manual of Style." https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/ (accessed 6/15/2010).

What Are Turabian Style Citations?

Turabian style citations refer to a citation style outlined in Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th edition,. This manual, which presents what is commonly known as the "Turabian" citation style, follows the two Chicago Manual of Style patterns of documentation but offers slight modifications suited to student texts.

The University of Chicago Press has a great resource for Turabian style citations here.