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Writing In the Disciplines

Arts & Humanities

The Chicago Manual of Style  presents two basic documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and the nature of sources cited, as each system is favored by different groups of scholars.

The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.

Library books:

  • Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.  ref Z 253 .C57 2010 
  • Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian), 8th ed. ref LB 2369 .T8 2013 
  • MLA handbook for writers of research papers, 7th ed.  1st floor, User Services  LB 2369 .G53 2009 
  • MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing, 3rd ed.  ref PN 147 .G444 2008  
  • AP Associated Press stylebook and briefing on media law ref PN 4783 .A83 2005 

Government and Law

These books and links will help you format government and legal citations.  Most other styles will defer to these examples and make reference to the following titles.

Library books:

  • Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation   ref KF 245 U55 2005
  • Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: a Manual for Writers and Librarians
    ref Z 7164 G7 G37 1993

Page contact

Contact Leilani Hall with questions or comments about this Research Guide. This guide is based on the original Writing Guide by Debbie Rogenmoser. or 916 278-6422

Natural Sciences and Health

The Council of Science Editors - CSE - is the primary authority for biology and other natural sciences formatting style. Scientific Style and Format is the most recognized, authoritative reference for authors, editors, publishers, students, and translators in all areas of science and related fields.

Library books:

  • Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors and Publishers, 8th ed.  ref T 11 S386 2014
  • AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, 10th ed. ref  R 119 .A533 2007  

Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology

The American Chemical Society is the format and style authority for chemistry. However, each journal may ask for papers to have a different format.

Engineering societies often use the Chicago style but check each association for variations.

The American Mathematics Association has a style fo rtheir publications.  However check for information for authors within the target journal of your interest.

Library books:

  • ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information
    ref QD 8.5 .A25 2006
  • Manual for authors of mathematical papers ref and 3North QA 42 .M36 1990

Social Sciences

The social sciencse usually follow the format of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Library books:

  • Style guide / American Sociological Association  ref HM 569 .A54 2007
  • APA Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. 1st floor, User Services BF 76.7 P83 2010