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Citation and Writing Style Guides: Home

Understanding Citation Styles

Why are There so Many Citation Styles?

Over the decades, hundreds of different citation styles have been developed. Organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) or Modern Language Association (MLA) have attempted to standardize the format of their styles by creating style guides to make them easier to use (Gratz, 2016). The three main styles used in the United States are the APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.   But why, after all these years, do we still use so many different citation formats?  Why haven’t we come up with one universal, standardized style for every occasion?  Read more to find out.

UCM Writing Center Blog

Not sure which style to use?

Before beginning to write, you first need to know the correct format or style to use. If you are a student working on a class assigned paper, a Thesis, or a Dissertation your Instructor or Faculty Advisor will assist you in selecting the correct writing style.

If you are writing a paper or manuscript for publication then the publisher, or editor who will review your work, will provide guidance as to which style to use.

The chart below provides an overview of which styles are most commonly used with which subject areas.

Reference and Instruction Librarian

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Naomi Gold
Liaison to the RU-N Writing Program, Office of Transfer Students, Psychology, Sociology
The John Cotton Dana Library

Business Librarian

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Public Administration Librarian
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This guide was originally created by Tammy Syrek-Marshall

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