Citations and Style Guides
CCA's library is a HUGE resource! The library's citations guide page - https://libguides.cca.edu/citations - has a quick guide to styles, in-text citations, and examples of how to format resources. The librarians themselves are also incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly - get in touch with someone if you have a question!
- Check with your advisor or department early on about what the preferred style (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.) is to save yourself time converting between styles. MLA and Chicago are common in the humanities. Check out these guides, as well as a comprehensive overview to all styles at the Purdue Owl.
- Using a citation tool with a browser plug-in like Zotero or Mendeley can be an efficient way to keep track of your sources and save time on writing citations.
Why correct citation matters.
If you've ever written a research paper, you know how time consuming a work cited or bibliography can be. There is actually method to the madness of what might seem like meaningless, tedious rules.
Citation is specific and tedious because all the information you include is a code for later quick reference. Your bibliography is another kind of index. An index that wasn't alphabetical would be pretty worthless. Citation in a bibliography follows similar rules. Take a look at the following citation for a book in MLA:
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, 1990.
- Author's last name first and in alphabetical order makes it easy to locate if an important author has been included.
- The book title is in italics. Journal titles should also be italicized, while journal articles and single book chapter titles should go in "quotation marks." This is a quick visual way that anyone (including you) can look at a bibliography and immediately tell what is an article, journal, or book.
- Publication information comes next along with date (in MLA and Chicago). Who the publisher is can be important if you are trying to find the book or if the book is out of print or hard to find. Date is important because scholarship should show familiarity with current, up to date work.
Other information according to current style guide should be included, but this is the basic reasoning as to WHY citation is so particular about HOW things are listed.