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Citation Styles and Practices

Citation is about communication. It's about letting your reader know which sources, scholars and perspectives your argument is building on, and responding to. This page will introduce you to the tools you need to create and use citations effectively. If you need information about plagiarism, please consult the Avoiding Plagiarism page.

Citation styles were developed by publishers and professional societies in order to facilitate communication within a community of practice (Butler said that? Judith or Joseph?). There are many different types of citation styles, and which style you use is determined by your community. At Barnard, this may mean the discipline of the class you're taking, or, if you are writing for a professional publication, the scope of the journal. The following are three of the most commonly used citation styles at Barnard, but you should ask your instructor or editor if you aren't sure which one to use:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) style is used primarily by students and scholars in the social sciences.
  • Chicago Manual of Style was developed by the University of Chicago Press, and is used by students and scholars working in history and some social sciences.
  • CSE (Council of Science Editors) style is used in many sciences.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by students and scholars in the liberal arts and humanities.