APA Vs MLA Vs Chicago: Useful Information with Examples
When writing educational and scientific papers, it is necessary to provide references to other books, materials, or individual outcomes that are important for own research. Such links allow you to find documents and check the accuracy of the information on the citation, represent the necessary information about the original work, and help to clarify its content, language, volume.
It is recommended to refer to the latest publications. Earlier editions can be cited only in cases where they contain material that is not included in the last edition. References are usually given in order to confirm one’s own arguments by referring to an authoritative book or to critically analyze a certain printed work. The quotation should be used in all cases where the work applies data taken from third-party sources, and not obtained or created directly by the author.
General Rules of Citation and Providing the Links to the Sources Used
Scientific etiquette requires that the cited excerption be carefully reproduced, because the slightest reduction in the fragment may distort the content written by the compiler. The most common ref requirements comprise the following:
- The citation begins and ends with quotation marks and is represented in the grammatical form in which it is given in the article, book, etc. while preserving the individual features of writing. Scientific terms proposed by other writers are not detached by quote marks, except for those that have produced overall controversy;
- The extract should be complete, without arbitrary reduction of the original text and without distortions of the basic thought. The omission of words, sentences, paragraphs when quoting is allowed without distorting the original information and is indicated by three dots. They are placed anywhere in the fragment. If there is some punctuation mark in front of or behind the published text, it is usually not saved;
- Each quote must definitely be accompanied by a link to the original book;
- In case of indirect reference (translation, presentation of other person’s opinions in own words), one should be extremely accurate in presenting someone else’s opinions, correct in evaluating the results, and give appropriate ref to mentioned publications;
- If it is necessary to identify the own attitude to individual words or thoughts from the cited fragment, then after them an exclamation mark or question mark is placed in parentheses;
- A special reservation is made if the writer highlights some words, i.e. a dot is placed after the extract that explains the selection and then a hyphen and the initials are placed. The entire excerption is located in round brackets.
There are various formats of citation today. And when creating a scientific text, it should be followed in accordance with the basic rules of academic integrity. Below we will consider the three most widespread standards: APA, MLA, and Chicago.
The APA format is a widely accepted style of academic design in the Western sciences. It was developed by the American Psychological Association. It provides rules for article organization, as well as instructions for quotations, footnotes, tables, font, and article structure.
This standard implies the obligatory indication of links when mentioning someone else’s book. They are arranged for different types of references, including paraphrase, block, and inline reference.
The in-text link includes information about the author (surname and initials, or the name of the book in the absence of such information), the year of publication, as well as the page from which the fragment is taken. The number is allowed not to be indicated only when you refer to the work as a whole, and not to any particular excerption.
According to APA format, the paraphrase is not enclosed in quote marks. If the author’s name is stated in the sentence, then in parentheses it is sufficient to indicate the year of edition. The number is given at the final part of a sentence. More detailed data will be contained in the list of literature.
Quote Inside the Line
Such a quote is usually enclosed in quotation marks. If the compiler’s surname is mentioned in the sentence, you must indicate the year of publication in round brackets and give the interval at the end of the entire extract. If the surname is indicated immediately after the quotation in parentheses, the year of the edition is provided through a comma. Detailed information about the book, article, etc. can be detected in the bibliographic list.
A blockquote contains more than three lines of text. It is represented with a paragraph indent for the whole fragment and is not enclosed in quote marks. Spacing is double. A dot is always put at the end of the quotation, and then the source is specified in round brackets. For example: TEXT (James, 2017, p. 17).
According to the rules, the list of references is located at the end of a paper. It contains info about the publications that are mentioned in the work. It is inadmissible to quote a publication without bringing its bibliographic description at the end of the document. Therefore, it is inadmissible to provide a description of the source if it is not adverted in the paper. Here is an example of the correct description:
Bernstein, A. P. (2019). The careful writer: A contemporary guide to English usage (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Atheneum.
If the surname is not specified, then the title of the edition is indicated. For example:
American Psychological Association. (2001). Ethical values of psychologists. Washington, DC: APA.
If the description indicates several works by the same author, then the records are arranged in chronological order by year of edition in ascending order. Each bibliographic description begins with a new line with width alignment without indents.
The MLA standard is also considered a common style of designing scientific papers. It establishes special rules for quoting borrowed fragments, as well as for formatting bibliography. As a rule, it is applied in the design of scientific papers in the field of humanities.
Initially, this format was developed for the purpose of using in English philology, for studying different modern languages or literatures, conducting comparative analysis and justified literary criticism, reviewing the cultural studies, the media, and mastering a number of other related disciplines. When designing citations, the so-called Author-Page form is applied.
Common Citation Provisions
Pay attention to the important provisions:
- The quotation is mandatory if you advert someone’s work in your paper;
- Citing is made using an in-text ref;
- The link is specified in parentheses inside the cited passage or immediately after it;
- The in-text ref represents the name of the author, and then the page of a source, from which the extract was borrowed, is specified;
- The interval should be reduced: (pp. 226–8);
- When the complier`s name is mentioned in the fragment, the interval is designated in round brackets: (17);
- If the surname is absent in an excerption, then it is adverted in brackets together with the page spacing: (Smith 25);
- If the publication has two compilers, then both surnames are recorded: (Robertson and Jones 4);
- If there are more than three compilers, the surname of the first is indicated and the phrase ‘et al.’ is added: (Jones et al. 53);
- The title of the source is used when the author is anonymous;
- If the original book uses paragraphs, sections, or subsections instead of pages, references should also include them.
Quote inside the line is usually taken in quotemarks, page spacing is indicated in parentheses.
Paraphrase – the retelling of someone else’s opinion in their own words, is not taken in quote marks. Consider an example: There are several stages of editing in the editorial and publishing process (Smith 7).
Block quotation is not represented in quote marks but submitted after colons with a paragraph indent for the whole extract on both sides. The ref is given in round brackets after the end dot.
General Requirements for the Design of the References
The list of links should start with a new page and have the title ‘Cited works’, which should be placed in the middle of the sheet. The list is unnumbered and placed by the width of the sheet, separated from the title by a free line. Complete descriptions of sources are placed in alphabetical order of authors’ names or titles.
This format provides two different ref systems:
- Humanitarian style (footnotes and bibliography);
- Scientific style (writer / date).
The main scope of Chicago standard – humanities (art, literature, philosophy, religion).
The main characteristics of the standard include the following:
- Provides for the use of superscript numerical indexes and footnotes at the bottom of the sheet with bibliographic data;
- The exception is taken in quotemarks;
- The superscript index is placed at the end of the cited text after the punctuation marks.
Arrangement of the Bibliography
The bibliographical list is arranged as follows:
- Name of sources used – ‘Bibliography’;
- The title is centered;
- It is necessary to indent two lines after the title;
- Spacing is single;
- Listed in alphabetical order;
- There should be one line between each bibliographic description;
- Pages and years are shortened (123-4; 1996-98);
- The first line of the description is aligned in width without indents, the next – with an indentation of 0.5 cm.
Thus, arrange quotes correctly and do not forget about the correct design of the bibliography. We hope that you will do this quickly and correctly thanks to the info specified here. You may also ask our team for help, if the citation is too complex for you. We are always pleased to provide you the assistance.