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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Writing A Research Paper: Citation Guides

What are the different Citation Styles?

MLA

MLA (Modern Language Association) style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing. MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages.

  • As with any citation system using it correctly protects the writer from accusations of plagiarism. As mentioned earlier in this guide proper citation builds credibility to the paper by demonstrating accountability to source material.

    If you are asked to use MLA format, be sure to consult the 2016 edition of the MLA Handbook, formerly known as the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers  (8th edition). In 2016, the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition) was taken out of print and the system of documentation explained in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook is the authoritative source for MLA style as of April 2016. The MLA is developing additional publications to address the professional needs of scholars.

APA 

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  • If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article, or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.
  • On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201). This information is reiterated below.
  • Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.


As with any citation system using it correctly protects the writer from accusations of plagiarism. As mentioned earlier in this guide proper citation builds credibility to the paper by demonstrating accountability to the source material.

If you are asked to use APA format, be sure to consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, second printing. 

Chicago

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation.

There are two main styles:

  • The Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in literature, history, and the arts.
    • The Chicago NB system is most often used in History and 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.

      As with any citation stystem using it correctly protects the writer from accusations of plagiarism. As mentioned earlier in this guide proper citation builds credibility to the paper by demonstrating accountability to source material.

      If you are asked to use Chicago NB format, be sure to consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, and/or A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th edition.

  • The Author-Date System, which is preferred in the sciences.
    • In the Author-Date System each citation consists of two parts: the text citations, which provides brief identifying information within the text, and the reference list (list of sources used) which provides full bibliographic information.
       

Modified from Descriptions for Style Guides (APA) Russell, T., Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderland, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, August 1, 2010). General format. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/

Citation Machines

Citations Guides

OWL at Purdue has a series of guides for Formating and Citing papers using style guides. Below are links to some of those guides.