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AAS 201A: Interdisciplinary Research Methods

Citation Styles

Which citation style should I use?

The citation style you choose will largely be dictated by the discipline in which you're writing, and for most assignments your instructor will assign a style to you. However, as you progress through your academic career, you may find more flexibility in choosing a style that works for you. It's always best to check with your instructor and colleagues as to what style is appropriate. If you have flexibility, use the guide below to help you decide.

Humanities: English, Art History, Philosophy, Music, Religion, Language, Linguistics, Etc. Social Sciences, Education, Engineering, etc. History, or the Humanities Physical, Natural, or Social Sciences

Try: MLA

MLA style uses parenthetical in-text citations and a "Works Cited" list at the end of a paper to link sources

Try: APA

APA style uses parenthetical in-text citations and a "References" list at the end of the paper to link sources

Try: Chicago Notes & Bibliography

Chicago notes utilizes footnotes and endnotes to link text to sources.

Try: Chicago Author-Date

Chicago author-date utilizes parenthetical in-text citations and a references or works cited list at the end, similar to the APA style.

The humanities place emphasis on authorship and interpreting primary sources in a historical context. The author's name is the first piece of information preceding title and publication information on the "Works Cited" list at the end of the work. These disciplines place emphasis on the date of creation or publication, in an effort to track currency and relevancy. The date is listed immediately following the author's name in the "References" list. Typically accompanied by a "Bibliography" page. Typically accompanied by a "References" or "Works Cited" page. 
MLA Formatting and Style Guide APA Formatting and Style Guide CMOS Formatting and Style Guide  

 

Credit for this chart goes to the University of Washington Libraries.

The Style Guides are located at the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

WHY use a reference management program-

1. Provide a search interface

  • Search databases directly from the citation manager.
  • Citations are selected and downloaded (exported) directly to your citation management software. In some cases the citations are downloaded to your hard drive and imported into the citation manager using a special filter.

2. Create a database of references.

  • Once citations are captured, they can be stored, organized and manipulated in personal mini-databases called "libraries" or groups. Many “groups” can be created and re-organized to meet changing needs.

3. Insert citations into word processing documents.

  • Using a "cite-while-you-write" feature, allows citations, footnotes or endnotes to be inserted into their proper place as you write a paper or manuscript. As they are inserted, a bibliography is automatically generated and updated as you change the citations. The newest software versions can permit tables and figures to be inserted as "citations".

4. Link between citations to image or PDF files.

  • Many citation managers permit links to image or PDF files stored on the hard drive of your computer. Add notes to images, figures and tables. Linked images and PDF files can be inserted into word documents as if they were citations.

5. Format a stand-alone bibliography (reference list).   

  • Using criteria you determine, you can create stand-alone bibliographies that can be saved in common word processing program formats.

Reference Managers

There are many different reference managers (also called citation managers) to choose from. The Library has guides on four major tools and there are also librarians with some expertise in using these who can provide support. 

If you choose Zotero, I recommend you that you check the Library's workshops for Zotero offerings or watch the short videos in this introductory tutorial.