Archive for March, 2011

Chicago Manual Style

March 26, 2011

For those of you majoring in history, literature and the arts you may be required to use a form of Chicago Manual Documentation Style known as the Notes-Bibliography System.

The paper should be footnoted according to the standard CMS guidelines, double-spaced, in 12 pt font, with page numbers and one inch margins all around.  Certain professors will require both a title page and a bibliography page.

The Notes-Bibliography system includes either an endnote or footnote every time you use a source.  This can come in the form of a direct quote, paraphrase or summary.  Footnotes appear at the end of the page on which the source is referenced, while endnotes are grouped at the end of each chapter or at the end of the paper.

*Quick note: The first time you cite a source include the author’s full name; source title; and facts of publication (much like the bibliography).  If you cite the same source again, the note only needs to include the surname of the author, a shortened form of the title, and page number(s).

Also, in the Notes-Bibliography system, the bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all sources you use for your research paper.

Use the following guidelines to cite your sources.

Use the first format for your bibliography (B) and the second for the footnotes (FN). Items in your bibliography should be divided between primary and secondary sources and listed by author in alphabetical order. Your bibliography should be single spaced, with one blank line between entries. For additional information on how to cite sources, check the Chicago Manual of Style Online, or click here.

Bossy, John.  Christianity in the West 1400-1700.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
) Bossy, Christianity West, 212.

Journal Article
Brown, Elizabeth A.R. “The Tyranny of a Construct: Feudalism and the Historians of Medieval Europe,” The American Historical Review 79 (1974): 1063-1088.
(FN) Brown, “The Tyranny,” 1080.

Article in a Book
DeLooz, Pierre. “Towards a sociological study of canonized sainthood in the Catholic Church,” in Saints and their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore and History, ed. Stephen Wilson, 189-216. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
(FN) DeLooz, “Towards a sociological study,” 200.

Primary Source in Collection
Gregory VII. “First Deposition and Banning of Henry IV by Gregory VII,” in The Middle Ages: Volume I, Sources of Medieval History ed. Brian Tierney, 124-125. New York: McGraw Hill, 1999.
Gregory VII, “First Deposition,” 124.

Primary Source from the Internet [For secondary sources from the internet, such as articles from JSTOR, use the Journal Article format above].
James I of Aragón. “The Barcelona Navigation Act of 1227.” TheInternetMedievalSourcebook. (accessed March 25, 2011).
James I, “Navigation Act.”

Sources you should NOT use for your Paper
Class Notes
General Encyclopedias
Popular Magazine Articles
Popular History Books
Secondary Sources from the Internet including, but not limited to Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias. [As a general rule, do not cite secondary sources from the internet.  Academic articles, book reviews, etc. are kept online in databases like JStor or H-Net].

Lions, Tigers and MLA, Oh My!

March 17, 2011

Hey All! So, we know that trying to figure out all the different rules about margins, citations, headers and works cited pages gets a little sticky, especially in one style to the next. In an effort to help people try to get a handle on some of the issues, we here at the Writing Center are going to do a few posts that try to break down some of the specifics of each style. For this post, I am going to focus on boarders, margins and spacing within the paper for MLA. Note that these are in accordance with the 2010 edition of the MLA handbook. If you are in a field where you will have to use MLA frequently, you actually might consider purchasing a copy. However, there are other internet sources, like the fantastic Purdue Owl website. Also check our blog for tips on other styles, like APA and Chicago.

Margins, Headers and Spacing, Oh My!

One of the first things you should do when working on your paper is immediately set up the margins. It is one of the easiest steps, and one of the easiest to forget. Specifically, these standards are for “research papers.” They will apply to all your standard literary essays, but always double-check with your professor.

The standard paper should have a 1-inch boarder on all sides: top and bottom, left and right. The border between your last name and page number, which should appear on the upper right-hand corner of every page, needs to be half an inch. The header, or the body of the text, is what will begin an inch down. When you indent at the start of a paragraph, that is half an inch, and block quotes starts an inch in from the already set left boarder (2 inches from the very edge of the paper). Check out this site for an actual picture layout of the margins!

Spacing & Font:
You must double space everything, including the header and block quotes! The only exception to this rule is if your professor specifically tells you to treat the papers a different way. Also keep in mind that the standard font used for most MLA research papers is Times New Roman. If you would like to use a different font, be sure to check with your professor first.

Keep in mind that your header needs to be double spaced in between each line, and that it appears in the upper left-hand corner of the first page of your paper. The information it needs to include is your name, the teacher’s name, the course number, and the date. Remember, the date usually goes (for the purposes of the header) the date, month then year.

Good luck! Keep posted for more articles on MLA citation and works cited pages!

Welcome to the exciting world of APA formatting!

March 9, 2011

Welcome to the exciting world of APA formatting. While most of us can assume that our essays will conform to the MLA style, some essays, especially those in the social sciences, will have to use the APA method. So, what exactly does this entail?
Formatting: Headers and Clearly marked sections.

The header is simply a space on the top of each page that states the title of your paper. You should also place the page number at the top of the page.
In an essay in the social sciences, each section in a paper should be clearly marked, for example, as: title page, abstract, main body, references, and in some cases, introduction and conclusion.

Citations: Direct and Indirect quotes

According to APA styling, if you are using a direct quote then you must site the source. If you are merely referring to a source or idea that you have already referenced in your paper, you do not need to include the full citation. All you have to do is reference the author and the year of publication of the text, for example, (Smith, 2002.) Remember, most of these papers will need to include a list of sources at the end, so you shouldn’t worry too much. For a direct quote, you should first reference the author and the year at the beginning of the quote, and then add the page number at the end. For example, According to Smith (2002), “Students who were familiar with MLA formatting often found it tedious to switch to APA formatting” (p. 29). If you are using a source with two different authors, then include both in the citation, for example (Smith and Johnson, 2002).

Citation: Articles, Books, and electronic sources

When you are compiling your references, it is important to cite them properly. To cite an article, the rule is:

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

If there is more than one author, list them all alphabetically at the beginning;

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

If you are citing from a book, then this is the proper format;

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

And finally, if citing from an electronic source, you should use;
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Online Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from

APA guidelines can be tricky, but there are plenty of resources out there for you to use. You do not usually need to worry about footnotes or endnotes. You merely want a neat and clearly explained paper. Good luck!