When your professor tells you she wants your paper written in MLA style, what does that mean? And then you get to your sociology class, and that professor says he expects your paper to be formatted according to APA style, and you feel even more lost. Never mind that your anthropology professor is asking that your paper be formatted using Chicago style. Are you lost yet? What do they mean?
When a professor instructs you to write your paper in this style or that style, she’s asking you to adhere to a particular format that provides rules and guidance on how to physically arrange the paper, how to insert footnotes or endnotes, how to cite resources, and how to document resources you’ve used in your paper. There are several different style guides available, but the three most common are MLA, APA, and Chicago. They refer, respectively, to The Modern Language Association Style Manual & Guide to Scholarly Publishing, The American Psychological Association Publication Manual, and The Chicago Manual of Style. This page is intended to help you navigate the most common citation formats in these styles. If you have more in-depth questions regarding how to format your paper, please check out the links at the bottom of the page, which will lead you to additional resources. Also, the Library has copies of the most up-to-date versions of these guides. Check the catalog for their availability!
A note about citations – though they may vary in arrangement, they all include the same basic information: author; title of the resource; and date of publication. Books include place of publication; periodical materials, such as journal articles, will include volume and issue number, but not a place of publication. Electronic resources will be cited differently, depending on the style guide you’re using. And don't forget about The Write Place, the English department's writing center, where you can get help with your papers!
[here is where the citation examples will go; click here to view them]