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Page 6


Style Manuals

In order to cite materials properly you should consult a style manual. Style manuals contain standards for the writing, formatting and design of documents. Different disciplines and subject areas used different style manuals.

For example, English papers are written using the standards described in the MLA Handbook while Biology and Psychology papers are written using the standards described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). This ensures that all papers written within these disciplines are formatted the same, using the same conventions. 

Some commonly used style manuals include:

examples of style manuals
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Most instructors at Contra Costa College require students to use the MLA Handbook for their assignments, although the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) is also commom. Be sure to ask your instructor which citation style is required for your assignment. Your librarian can also assist you in finding and using an appropriate style manual.

Chapter 9 — Page 6