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Iowa State University

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Style manuals

When writing a research paper, you will need to cite your sources (via footnotes, references, or a bibliography) in a manner that allows others to locate and consult these same sources. Citation style guides prescribe specific formats for these citations. There are many citation style guides, some general and some designed especially for the sciences, social sciences, or humanities.

Printed guides

The ISU Library maintains a small collection of the most popular printed citation style guides at the Help & Information Desk (Floor 1, Parks Library). These include:

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • Scientific Style and Format: the CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers
  • Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences
  • The ACS style guide: effective communication of scientific information
  • A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian

You can locate other style guides via Quick Search, either by searching for known titles, or by combining the keywords "style manual" with subject areas. Examples:

  • biology AND "style manuals"
  • political science AND "style manuals"

Managing citations electronically

Bibliographic management software programs can help researchers collect and organize citations and create bibliographies. Popular software readily available at ISU include EndNote, EndNoteWeb, and Zotero. For more information see Bibliographic Management Software.

Need more help?

More detailed information is available in the following titles in the ISU Library Guides series: 

For additional information about locating citation style guides or selecting one that is appropriate for your situation, contact staff at the Help & Information Desk during open hours, or Ask us! 

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