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a brief guide for the study of religion

Citation Styles

What does style have to do with citing sources?

There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. Citation styles consist of formats and rules established and modified by institutions and associations of scholars in various academic disciplines.  These are the citation formats followed by writers and publications in corresponding fields. For example:

  • MLA style is typically used by most disciplines in the Humanities

  • Chicago/Turabian is generally used by History and Art

  • APA style is used by Education and Psychology

  • ACE or CSE are often used by the sciences.

Check with your professor to make sure you use the citation style that they require. And whatever style you choose, BE CONSISTENT! The Purdue OWL Research and Citation Resources Guide is a general guide that summarizes and provides basic examples of all of the styles listed here, and is a good place to get an overview.

Guides for Specific Disciplines

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • APA (American Psychological Association) used in many social sciences · print copy · online

  • Chicago  · print copy · online

  • see the Quick Guide for basic examples

  • see chapter 14 for the complete list of examples

  • Turabian (simplified Chicago style) used in humanities, social & natural sciences · print copy · online

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) used in literature & other humanities · print copy · online


Additional Resources for Citing Specific Types of Publications

Chicago and Turabian: The Same But Different

Turabian is essentially a simplified version of Chicago Style. Chicago/Turabian is a good choice for a general, all-purpose citation guide.  

"Turabian" takes its name from Kate Turabian, the dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago for over 30 years who developed a guide for students and researchers writing papers, theses, and dissertations. This guide has evolved and has been revised many times, and, while based on the University of Chicago Press's Manual of Style, simplifies and departs from it in some aspects. Overall, "Turabian" synthesizes the rules most important for students' papers and other scholarly research not intended for publication, and omits some of the publishing details and options that "Chicago" provides, and presents some of the same material in a clearer manner.