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Brooks Library Research Guides: Citation & Style Manuals for the Social Sciences
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Brooks Library Research Guides: Citation & Style Manuals for the Social Sciences

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About This Guide
In this guide, those resources in the Handbooks & Guides section are actual guides with instructions. Some are essentially complete; others rely on another guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style as the basis upon which they elaborate. OWL (The Online Writing Center) is included here because its guidance is quite extensive.

The resources listed under Web Sites are those that aid in citation by providing citation generators or examples, and those that are compilations which provide links to or lists of guides. These do not themselves contain the text of style manuals or guides, although they may contain summaries or tips.

When using any citation generator, whether listed here, built into a database or library catalog, or included in a bibliographic tool such as EndNote or Zotero, you will do well to check the citations to make sure they are correctly done. These can be convenient tools, but they do make errors at times. In addition, Virginia Tech libraries citation and style manuals list cautions that citation generators "often only generate citations for the most commonly used resources...[whereas] for infrequently used formats..." they may generate errors or not function at all.

What style to use? If your writing is part of your work in a class, your instructor will most likely tell you what style to use. If not, OWL at Purdue has created a handy comparison chart of MLA, APA, and CMS (Chicago). Their handout on "Documenting Sources in the Disciplines" will guide you to help with some less common styles including ASA and APSA.
All Items by Source

Handbooks & Guides

AAA Style Guide Some full text available
While the American Anthropological Association guide is only 12 pages, note that "This guide is an outline of style rules basic to AAA style." If you cannot find a rule you need, follow The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition, 2003). Their spelling choice follows the first spelling in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, 2006).
APA Style Simplified [electronic resource] : Writing in Psychology, Education, Nursing, and Sociology Restricted Resource Some full text available
Accessible anywhere that you have Internet access, this guide covers some topics not discussed (to my knowledge) in the authoritative Publication Manual of The American Psychological Association, such as poster presentations. The author also hopes to provide not only rules, but understanding of the reasons for them. Some full text available
This site supplements the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. It includes information on how to remove sex, race and disability bias from your writing, and a tutorial on the basics of APA style, as well as other supplemental materials and FAQs.
Basic Legal Citation Some full text available Resource contains video
This guide, from the authoritative Legal Information Institute at Cornell, is available in three e-book formats (PDF, Kindle/Mobipocket, and Nook/ePub) as well as the web format. It is accompanied by a wiki where experts and novices can discuss the finer points and novel situations. Videos are also available.

Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
Print Location: REF KF245 .B58
Compiled by editors of a group of academic law reviews, the Bluebook is suggested by OWL as the style for law and legal studies. OWL points to Cornell Legal Information Institute's Basic Legal Citation as an aid with this style, in addition to the official website. Copies are in reference in the Ellensburg, Des Moines, and Lynnwood library locations.
Chicago Manual of Style
Print Location: REF Z253 .U69 2010
While APA style is most used in social sciences, Chicago style is a common and widely used style. It also is the foundation on which several more specialized styles are built, including the American Anthropological Association style. CMS incorporates two approaches: notes-bibliography, which tends to be favored in literature, history, and the arts (according to OWL), and author-date, which tends to be favored in social, natural, and physical sciences (according to Virginia Tech). When in doubt, check with your instructor! The publisher provides a quick guide. The Online Writing Center (OWL) at Purdue also has useful guidance which is more in depth than that provided by the publisher. The authoritative source is, of course, the manual itself.
Current Anthropology Style Guide
 This is the style guide for the journal Current Anthropology
Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
Print Location: LB 2369 T8 2007
As OWL describes it "In addition to consulting the The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) for more information, students may also find it useful to consult Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (7th ed.). This manual, which presents what is commonly known as the 'Turabian' citation style, follows the two CMS patterns of documentation...." Virginia Tech indicates that this style is most commonly used in literature, history, and the arts, and the publisher concurs in their quick guide. The publisher describes the Turabian styles as "essentially the same as those presented in The [CMS].... with slight modifications for the needs of student writers."
Online Writing Center (OWL), Purdue
Formatting and Style Guides for MLA, APA, and Chicago are included in the resources at OWL. Shorter and generally more easily understood than the full citation manuals, though less complete. They cover most, but not all, of the citation situations that you will encounter. Also includes guidance on plagiarism, writing résumés and business letters, punctuation and grammar, and other writing topics.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Print Location: BF76.7 .P83 2010b [6th edition]
Also known as the APA Style Manual, this is the authoritative source for creating correct citations in APA style as well as complete guidance for the structure of your work, writing clearly, use of tables and figures, and other information for the writing and publication process. Non-circulating copies are available in the reference area of Brooks Library, Des Moines, and Lynnwood, in addition to a circulating copy at Brooks Library.
Scientific style and format : the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers
Print Location: REF T11 .S386 2006
The Council of Science Editors (CSE) style - the style formerly known as CBE (Council of Biology Editors) - is popular in the natural and physical sciences, including biology, geology, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, and physics. Because of this wide range of subject areas, you may be called upon to use CSE in geography or environmental studies, for example. It has three sub-styles: Name-Year, Citation-Sequence, or Citation-Name In-Text. Sierra College's 22-page CSE guide describes these, as well as much useful information. Research and Documentation Online also provides a brief help guide, as do some sources in the Websites section of this guide.
Style Manual for Political Science Some full text available
The style manual for the American Political Science Association (APSA) is based on the Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed. it says, not the more recent 16th), Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the unabridged Webster's Third New International Dictionary, and the English-German volume (vol.1) of the Standard Dictionary for Social Sciences (Koschnick). The last can be requested through our consortium, Summit, but is not in Brooks Library. If you do not find what you need to know in this guide, refer to those for clarification.  The guide is intended to assist you with "clear expression and consistent usage" and is directed specifically toward preparation for publication in the American Political Science Review.
ASA Style Guide
Print Location: Ref HM586 .A54 1997

The American Sociological Association's guide to style and format for manuscripts.  A copy is also available for checkout in the library's stacks, 3rd Floor. For brief guidance, try OWL's Formatting in Sociology (ASA Style) or the ASA's online Quick Style Guide.

NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] Style Manual: A Guide for Legal Writing in Plain English

Similar to The Elements of Legal Style KF250 .G37 2002, this guide is accessible on the web. It also includes some examples of proper citations and some rules of citation.

Web Sites

BibMe generates citations in MLA, Chicago, and APA styles for books, newspaper articles, journal articles, websites, films, and "other." With minimal information, such as a book title, it may be able to autofill the balance of your citation. Manual mode is also available.  It's free, and, if you register, you can download your bibliography into Word or save it to your account. BibMe also provides short guidelines and examples to help you learn to make citations yourself and to be able to assess the quality of a citation.
Citation Fox
Citation Fox provides templates and examples. It is not a citation generator. It covers only APA (where this link will land you) and MLA (linked from the bottom of the page) and claims to demonstrate format for over 500 resource types.
Citation Maker

"You can use this tool to create a Works Cited list of research sources following the MLA and APA standard citation formats." This can be a great time saver, but remember, any automated citation generator (as well as any non-automated one, in particular a person) can make a mistake. You need to recognize and correct those errors. This tool is provided free by the Oregon School Library Information System.

Harvard Writing Project Student Writing Guides Some full text available
The Harvard Writing Project is even less focused on mechanics, including citation, than Writer's Web. There are, however, a number of discipline oriented guides designed to "encourage better writing by giving students practical advice and useful examples." They extend beyond that scope to include some practical information on the purposes and styles of different types of writing, as well as the writer's place in the discourse of the field of study.
University of Washington Citations and Writing Guide Some full text available
From the "Citation Guides" link you will find links to handy little two page summaries (for MLA, CSE, Chicago, and APA) of the most commonly encountered citation situations. Print them out double-sided and tuck them in your notebook or wherever is convenient so you can have them at the ready for any citation emergency... or non-emergency. Includes quick handouts for MLA, APA, Chicago and CSE styles and links to more detailed formatting guidelines.
Writer's Handbook
The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison provides this useful resource. It includes assistance, in varying detail, and links to additional resources for APA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, American Political Science Association (APSA), and Council of Science Editors (CSE). They also assist with the entire writing process including understanding different types of assignments (literary analysis versus literature review versus research paper, and such), grammar and punctuation, quoting and paraphrasing, and much more. Being from UW-Madison, they exhort you to visit them for a consultation. You have the same types of resources right here at Central Washington University, including the writing center and reference consultations. For reference consultations use the web form, contact the librarian shown in the research guide for your subject, or drop by the reference desk and ask for a librarian.
Writer's Web Some full text available
Citation is included, but given a fairly light treatment in this resource from the Writing Center at the University of Richmond. Some sections that may be useful include documentation, writing in the disciplines, and using sources, but there is a good deal of guidance for the entire writing process: getting started. focusing, punctuation, sentence structure, and other topics regarding mechanics, style, and the overall process.
Subject Specialist
Related Research Guides
These guides are designed to help you with your research in specific subject areas. Each also has contact information for the librarian for that subject area. We encourage you to contact those librarians, or the subject specialist above, for help with your research, including citing your sources.


Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
Family Studies (Family & Consumer Sciences)
Gender Studies (Women's Studies)
Health Education (Health, Human Performance & Nutrition)
History (Americas, World)
Law and Justice
Political Science