Citation Style Guides
This guide is aimed to help students through the often confusing process of citing sources and writing reference lists.
Here you will find background information and a links to reliable websites that guide students through academic writing, avoiding plagiarism, citation styling, citation aides, etc.
Why do we cite books, journal articles, web sites. etc in a research paper? It's not just about plagiarism!
All writers (that's you!) must cite material...
- To reflect the careful and thorough work you have put into locating and exploring your sources.
- As a courtesy to your readers so they know where you found the information.
- To acknowledge those authors who made possible particular aspects of your work. Failure to provide adequate citations constitutes plagiarism.
- To demonstrate your integrity and skill as a responsible participant in the conversation of scholarship.
Librarians are often asked, "How do I cite this book/journal article/web site in my research paper?" There is not one correct way to cite something, although different subject areas require different styles. Writing guides (commonly referred to as style manuals) provide rules and instruction on research paper composition.
You should use a style manual in order to properly cite materials, set up footnotes or in-text citations, and/or a works cited list (aka: reference list, bibliography.) Different style manuals are used for different disciplines or subject areas:
- The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for the Social Sciences
Ask at the 2nd floor circulation desk to look at teh reserves copy
- MLA (Modern Language Association) Handbook for Writers of Research Papers for the Humanities
Reference Stacks (4th floor) Call Number: LB2369 .G53 2009
- Chicago Manual of Style for History
- Council of Science Editors (CSE) Scientific Style and Format for the Sciences
Reference Stacks (4th floor) Call Number: T11 .S386 1994
All of these manuals are available at Healey. Many style manuals (or portions of them) are also freely accessible on the web, see Citation Style Guides links to the right. Bookstores sell many useful paper or "pocket style" versions which students often find helpful. One of the most popular style manuals in print is A Pocket Style Manual by Diana Hacker (NY: St. Martin's Press, 2012)
Be sure to check with your instructor if you are unsure which style to use for your research paper.
UMass Boston offers support for academic writing through the Reading, Writing, and Study Strategies Center and the Graduate Writing Center. The Healey Library provides guidance on Plagiarism Awareness and Prevention
Online Writing Lab (OWL) from Purdue University contains high quality information about academic writing and much more.
- General Writing Resources
- Research and Citation Resources
- Citation Style Chart (side-by-side comparison of APA, MLA, and CMS styles)
- Subject Specific Writing
- Tips for ESL Students