Sound Writing is the official writing handbook on campus, written by student writing advisors and specifically tailored to the needs of Puget Sound students and their faculty.
In addition to supporting the development of successful academic writing skills, Sound Writing also includes sections on research methods, writing in the disciplines, and more.
The preliminary edition of Sound Writing provides help with three citation styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago (notes & bibliography).
Current Edition: August 2017
Frustrated by the plethora of citation styles? The differences start to make sense when we look at things from a disciplinary perspective!
In the behavioral sciences, research is often done in teams, so a published research article may have multiple authors. Because it would become tedious and costly to include the full names of all authors, the APA citation style asks for the last name and just the initials for the first and middle names. Likewise, currency (how recent work was done) is hugely important. Therefore, in the APA citation style, the date of the publication comes close to the front of the citation.
An APA example:
Diessner, R., Solom, R.C., Frost, N.K., Parsons, L., & Davidson, J. (2008). Engagement with beauty: Appreciating natural, artistic, and moral beauty. The Journal of Psychology, 142, 303-329.
When writing about literature, most scholars tend to work alone. The focus of their work is on a literary text written by specific authors. For this reason, the MLA style requires the full name of all authors. Because currency is defined much more generously in the humanities than in the sciences or social sciences, the date of publication comes toward the end of the citation.
An MLA example:
Frye, Northrup. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. New York: Atheneum, 1957. Print.
Why do we cite our sources?
In academic work, we cite our sources for three main reasons:
Which sources do we cite?
In academic work, we cite ALL sources that we use in any way. Sources can include:
When do we cite our sources?
We cite our sources whenever we use them in any way or fashion:
How do we cite our sources?
The set of rules or guidelines that governs how we cite our sources is called a "citation style." There are several different citation styles that typically are used in academic writing. The differences that have evolved between these citation styles reflect key differences in disciplinary values and methods.
Which citation style should I use?