educational articles
Educational Articles

Preparing for College Writing: A Guide to Citation Styles

Plagiarism is a widespread problem throughout colleges and universities. It may be described as taking the written texts of others and using them in your own created works without giving proper attribution or credit. Those writing papers for higher learning institutions must ensure they use the proper citation styles to avoid submitting works that aren't original or unique.

Citation Styles

Though it is perfectly fine to quote a source, publication, study, journal, or article, it isn't okay to use those texts without giving accreditation to the original speaker or author. By knowing the various forms and styles used by colleges, students can make certain they give proper accreditation to sources and that their articles contain proper citation. The most widely used citation styles associated with higher learning includes the following: American Psychological Association (APA); Modern Language Association (MLA); The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago-Style); Turabian Style; American Medical Association (AMA); American Chemical Society (ACS); Council of Science Editors/Council of Biology Editors (CSE/CBE).

call to action graphic

Plagiarism is more than an unethical practice; it is illegal. In addition to legal consequences, most higher learning facilities initiate their own punishments for the practice. Students should understand the issues surrounding plagiarism as well as the consequences they may face for engaging in this behavior. As many students frequently rely upon other sources to create documents and other works, it is imperative they are fully aware of the various citation styles and use them in their writing. Those who fail to cite their sources are guilty of committing plagiarism and may be held legally accountable.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has their own style for citing their works as well as for submitting works to APA member journals. Those who wish to publish in psychological journals should consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, as this is the official guide. Those citing works will need a thorough understanding of the basics of APA style.

Those dealing with language and literature will refer to the rules established by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) in their official guide: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (undergraduate and high school students) as well as the MLA Style Manual (professional writers, scholars, and graduate students).

The Chicago Manual of Style focuses on established guidelines for those writing news reports. First published in 1906 and it is associated with the American Anthropological Association as well as the Organization of American Historians.

Similar to the Chicago Manual of Style is Turabian. Kate Turabian wrote the style for the University of Chicago that focuses more on student writing of papers rather than publishing in journals or newspapers. Of the many styles, Turabian was created specifically for students who need to write papers. Kate Turabian has written several books including Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations as well as the Student's Guide to Writing College Papers.

Those specializing in the medical field will be required to learn the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. The style was first developed in 1962 and was designed for medical professionals interested in publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Archives Journal.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) established this formatting style for use in their professional publications. Those who need to familiarize themselves with ACS style may utilize the official guidebook: ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information and the earlier ACS Style Guide: A Manual for Authors and Editors.

The Council of Science Editors established guidelines for those submitting to scientific journals. The organization was known as the Council of Biology Editors until December 31, 1999 until they took the new name. The style guide is used for those publishing in scientific papers.

Whether writing scholarly articles for publications, high school or undergraduate courses or advanced educational papers such as graduate theses, it's important to understand the various style guides and which guide you will be required to use for your educational endeavors.

Plagiarism is a serious problem that threatens the career of any professional and can cripple a student's educational path. Understand the rules regarding plagiarism and ensure that you use the proper style guide when citing source material within your works.

APA

MLA

Chicago

Turabian

AMA

ACS

CSE/CBE

call to action graphic