Citations brush up

I’ve posted this before, but this PDF from Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) is probably the most succinct and helpful document on the MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles.  The discussion of online sources starts on page 4, and the examples of in-text citation start on page 7.  Even glancing through to note what gets prioritized should give you a better sense of the main differences between these styles, and the rhetorical goals they’re trying to achieve.  (Note that some styles, for instance, don’t require URLs of web resources.)

Sure, you could use EasyBib, or BibMe, or CitationMachine, but let me encourage you to try to actually understand what’s going on with citations, rather than relying on something else to guess as to what’s most relevant.  (Think of it as actually learning how to get somewhere, vs blindly following GPS.)  These resources sometimes return odd (wrong) results, too, so it’s worth knowing how to double-check.

If you’re ever stuck with something unusual, just typing it into a search engine should help you out.  Try “MLA interview” or “Chicago citation pamphlet” to see how easy it is to track down oddball sources.

Leave a Reply