There are five main academic style types used in colleges and universities today: APA, AMA, Turabian, Chicago and MLA. Different professional fields of study have preferences dependent upon which style is most suitable for the particular area of study as well as the type of information presented. For example, APA is almost always used in psychology courses while MLA is the preferred choice for English papers. Professors or tutors will always specify the required style and it is important to the credibility of your paper to strictly adhere to the rules of that particular style.
Citations are one aspect of writing style; other specifications within each style include spacing, font, indentation, headings, contents, sub-headings and what pages to include or not include (i.e.: title page or table of contents). Citations are the trickiest aspect to remember. Each different writing style requires the writer to place source information differently, and just one comma can make a big difference!
To help, PowerPapers has created a simple-to-use system of identifying citation specifications for each style. To simplify the understanding of each style type a color code chart is used to show the appropriate placement of information, as follows.
|Author(s)||The individual(s) who wrote the text. Sometimes there are two, three, or even more authors, and they must all be cited correctly in your paper.||Date||The date the text was published.|
|Title of Book||The exact title of the book, complete with all words (even "small" words such as "and" and "the").||Title of Article||The exact title of the article, complete with all words (even "small" words such as "and" and "the").|
|Title of Periodical||The exact title of the magazine or journal, complete with all words (even "small" words such as "and" and "the").||Volume||For an article, the volume (and/or number) of the magazine or journal in which the article appears (e.g. Vol. XII, No. 3)|
|Pages||For an article, the entire span of page(s) upon which the particular article appears in the journal or magazine; for a chapter in a book, the entire span of page(s) upon which the chapter appears in the book.||Place of Publication||For a book, the city of publication (and the state and/or country if the city is not well-known).|
|Publisher||For a book, the name of the publishing house (e.g. "Random House").||Other Information||Any additional information, such as the URL of a reputable website, which is not included elsewhere.|
Examples of Citation Formats
Click on any of the citation formats below to see various examples in correct citation format: