Your instructor will tell you whether they prefer MLA, APA, Chicago or another style format. At Fanshawe College, we generally use APA in any business-related program, because this is the most commonly used style format in Canadian workplaces. However, specific departments at colleges/ universities might require a different style — as might specific companies. For instance, literature and arts departments typically require the use of MLA, some academic journals and publishing houses require Chicago, etc.
Luckily, the Fanshawe College librarians have come up with handy citation guides, which you can access the Citation Resources under the “Resources for Students” section of the Fanshawe library website. In particular, review the APA 7th Edition Guide and MLA 8th Edition Guide, which are most relevant to your studies at Fanshawe College.
In addition, for a more substantial review of APA format (the required citation method for COMM 6019), please refer to Appendix E: Documentation and APA Style of this textbook.
Rather than covering every citation rule (which you can find in the guides), let’s just discuss the purpose of each one.
Creating an In-Text Citation
An in-text citation tells the reader where the information in a particular sentence came from. If the in-text citation is done well, the reader will be able to use it to find the full reference in the bibliography, then easily find the exact spot where the idea/quote came from.
In MLA citation, the in-text citation consists of the author’s last name and the page number (or paragraph number for sources with no page numbers). If you’ve already used the author’s name in the sentence, you don’t have to repeat it in the in-text citation. It looks like this:
According to Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliot, “We know our cultures have meaning and worth, and that culture lives and breathes inside our languages” (18).
or like this (if you have already cited from the same source earlier in the paper and are now returning to it):
Furthermore, “We know our cultures have meaning and worth, and that culture lives and breathes inside our languages” (Elliot, 18).
If you’re using APA citation, you add the date that the work was created. As with MLA, you don’t have to repeat the name of the author if you’ve already said it in the sentence. It looks like this:
According to Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliot, “We know our cultures have meaning and worth, and that culture lives and breathes inside our languages” (2019, p. 18).
or like this:
Furthermore, “We know our cultures have meaning and worth, and that culture lives and breathes inside our languages” (Elliot, 2019, p. 18).
If you don’t know the name of the author, use the first few words of the title. If you don’t know the date, write “n.d.” for No Date. If you don’t know the page number, mention the paragraph number.
Creating a Reference
As with in-text citations, it’s best to refer to Fanshawe’s Citation Resources or the APA chapter in our text. The purpose of a reference, however, is to give enough information for the reader to find the original source.
Here’s an example of an MLA reference:
Elliot, Alicia. A Mind Spread Out On the Ground. Penguin Random House, 2019.
Here’s an example of an APA reference:
Elliot, A. (2019) A Mind Spread Out on the Ground. Penguin Random House.
This section covered basic citation methods. In the next section, you’ll learn how to create an argument using your accurately cited sources.