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ENWR 2510: Writing about Identities

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Meridith Wolnick
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What Are Citations?

Citations are a critical component of academic writing. They allow you to give credit to the original source, whether you are using a direct quotation or paraphrasing someone else's research. Citations give the reader directions to specific passages in a text, draw attention to prominent authors in the field, and can give a historical overview of research around a particular topic.

There are different citation styles to choose from and which you use depends upon your discipline. The best way to know which citation style to choose is to ask your professor. They will tell you which one is appropriate for that assignment or subject.

Why Are There So Many Citation Styles?

Different disciplines have different expectations and norms for how information is cited because they prioritize different parts of the original source. Citation styles give the reader a way to quickly access the information you are citing and can give a quick overview of the body of work you referencing. Some styles prioritize the year so that the reader can see how the scholarly conversation you are referencing has evolved over time while others include the page number so that a reader can refer to the exact phrase you are discussing. It is important to remember that different styles use a different combination of punctuation and typography. Consider the following citations and note their differences:

MLA (Modern Language Association): McInnis, Maurie Dee, and Louis P. Nelson. Educated In Tyranny: Slavery At Thomas Jefferson's University. University of Virginia Press, 2019.

APA, (American Psychological Association): McInnis, M. D., & Nelson, L. P. (2019). Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's University. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Chicago: McInnis, Maurie Dee and Louis P. Nelson. Educated In Tyranny: Slavery At Thomas Jefferson's University. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019.


Virgo, the Library catalog, includes a button to easily access the citation for the text for the most common citation styles, APA, MLA, Chicago, and Bluebook. These citations are only for the texts themselves, to find detailed guidance on in-text citations, etc. you'll need to go directly to a style guide or an online resource that can give you more information about how to generate the right citation for the right purpose.


Want to learn more about how to effectively navigate Virgo?  Check out this helpful guide

General Resources

Your librarians are excellent resources; however, another service available to you is the UVA Writing CenterAll students, regardless of level or major are welcome.  They are able to assist with "all stages of the writing process" and "any kind of writing." You can book a consultation to talk about your writing.  

Citation Style Links

MLA (Modern Language Association)

MLA style is generally used* in the Humanities including English languages and literatures, world languages and literatures, literary criticism, comparative literature, and cultural studies.
*make sure to always check the requirement for your specific paper or assignment.

 

APA (American Psychological Association)
APA style is generally used* in fields of social science such as Psychology, Engineering, Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, and Criminology. Business. 
*make sure to always check the requirement for your specific paper or assignment.

 

Chicago

Chicago style is generally used* in Business, History, and Fine Arts.
*make sure to always check the requirement for your specific paper or assignment.