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Writing Centre Resource Guide

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Resources for Proper Citation

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APA Citation Style

Anatomy of an APA Citation from Dalhousie Libraries on Vimeo.

Dalhousie Libraries shows you what an APA citation is. Then we show you how to put one together properly and get it right the first time.

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Chicago Citation Style

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MLA Citation Style

by Kala Hirtle, Dalhousie Writing Centre

MLA stands for The Modern Language Association; it is an author-date citation style. Unlike Chicago style which uses footnotes or endnotes that include both the full references for sources and shortened versions of the full references, the MLA has two parts: in-text citations in the body of the paper and a Works Cited page which comes at the end of the paper. The two levels are designed to work together; the in-text citations give specific information (the author’s last name and the page number or range when applicable for the source) to direct readers to the Works Cited where they can find the full citation. The first MLA Reference Guide was published in 1951, and the MLA is now on its eighth edition. With each edition comes small changes meant to make the MLA an increasingly simple and flexible citation style. It is therefore important to know which edition you are expected to use.

by Kala Hirtle, Dalhousie Writing Centre

The eighth edition of the MLA has several small changes from the seventh edition. These changes have been made in an attempt to simplify the full citations found in the Works Cited; the MLA is urging its users to see their Handbook as a guide that allows more freedom and clarification than its previous editions. For a full list of the changes, please see the online MLA guide or review Owl Purdue’s page devoted to giving examples of the changes. 

Some new terminology has been included to help explain the relationship between sources that are housed in another source (such as a short story found in an anthology, or a television episode that is part of season of television). The MLA refers to the source that houses the immediate source you are citing as the “container”; containers can also refer to databases (such as JSTOR or EBSCO). The MLA now uses the term “location” to refer to URLs or DOIs for electronic sources.

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ACM/CSE/IEEE Citation Styles

CSE stands for the Council of Science Editors. As its name implies, this citation style is most commonly used in the sciences. For information on how to cite sources in CSE, please see the following resources:

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