This page explains why as well as how to cite your information sources and identifies citation styles most commonly used by students at Bristol Community College. You will also find "Quick Guides" for each of the styles, which can be printed out, if you prefer! Scroll down the page to find online writing guides and citing templates, plus tools such as citation generators and reference management programs. For additional information or assistance, ask a librarian or visit your local BCC campus Writing Center.
Citing your information sources is necessary in order to:
Use the style recommended by your instructor; if none is recommended, choose one style and stick with it for consistency's sake. Both the Library and the Writing Center have access to style manuals for the major citation styles.
MLA - Serves scholars in the humanities (especially literature). Since many humanities scholars work with texts from all time periods, currency is not always essential. When citing, emphasis is placed on authorship; while both MLA and APA require the author’s name within the physical text (i.e. in-text citation), MLA does not require a date. For the full citation on the “Works Cited” page, MLA features the date towards the end of the citation.
APA - The sciences and social sciences are often concerned with currency of information; hence, researchers place emphasis on the date a work was created. APA style observes this by featuring the date immediately after the author’s name in the “References” page. Dates are also required for in-text citations.
CHICAGO - Offers two types of documentation: the Author-Date system is recommended for scholars in the physical, natural and social sciences, in order to showcase the date of publication within the text. Scholars focused on history and art as well as some social sciences are very concerned with origins of sources; Chicago’s Notes-Bibliography style format is preferred for this type of work. In place of in-text citations, it calls for detailed footnotes and/or end notes, to identify the source from which a particular piece of information was derived and provide relevant commentary. Chicago style also calls for a “Bibliography” at the end of the paper.
Citation generators are web-based tools that assist you in formatting citations for your academic research projects. Some provide auto-fill content; however, you often must add information manually, and it is your responsibility to ensure correct spelling! What goes in, comes out - just as you type it. The following are links to some of the more popular generators, and most are free to use:
Use these quick reference guides to get started: