- works well with footnotes and endnotes.
- favored style for historical writing as well as literature and arts citation.
- is more flexible (in my opinion) when it comes to how to appropriately cite sources
- Chicago Manual of Style
MLA (Modern Language Association of America) style:
- widely used for academic writing and the standard style in general
- MLA's official site (everyone should own one of their Handbooks)
- very structured (i.e. Works Cited page alphabetized by author's last name) but also very thorough (you include just about EVERYTHING in your citation).
- tackles how to cite a unique source to genealogists: personal testimony as well as sound recordings.
APSA (American Political Science Association) style:
- lesser known, primarily used for political science writing.
- good format for analytical writing
- very similar to Chicago style but also combines elements from other styles like MLA.
These are websites I use frequently when I need help with source citation, each one a great resource for anyone who needs to cite work:
- CSUChico Writing Guide (in PDF)
- Purdue OWL (look on the right under "Most Popular Resources")
- The History Site
- "How To" for Bibliographies
- Citation Machine (wonderful tool that formats sources based on the chosen style)
- Associated Press Style Top 10 (geared mainly for journalists, but genealogists might find some use in it, I did)
- The Elements of Style (try and get a current copy, the one I'm linking to is from 1918!)
- Diana Hacker's MLA site
Also, I just saw that over on the GeneaBloggers site, there is a new post which lists some bibliography generators, something worth checking out.
In academics I'm usually forced to strictly follow a specific style (as a history major it is usually Chicago), but in genealogy I have the liberty of taking aspects of different styles that I like and combining them. Often times I don't care for the format of in-text citation of a certain style or the Works Cited/Bibliography format of a certain style, so I mix and match those. While Evidence Explained is a great book for genealogists and anyone who doesn't need to learn the various styles, it is well worth it to try and learn the MLA style at least as well as footnoting (which in a word processor can be inserted using the keys: Ctrl+Alt+F). There are also cardinal rules to source citation which are easy to remember regardless of format:
(For in-text citation)
- Always try and include the name of the author of the source as well as where in the source the info you are citing is located, like page number. Use (parenthesis) with that information inside and put at the end of the sentence.
(For bibliographies/works cited)
- Always try and have some order to the sources. In a good, thorough document you will find AT LEAST ten sources (and this is not one source repeated over and over). To keep some kind of organization to all the sources (and to make it easier for people to look up the sources) keep an order to them, be it through alphabetizing them or some other personal way- I know in genealogy I will sometimes organize my sources based on when the sources where written or recorded with the most recent coming last.
- Always mention the publish status of the document. If the source is a family heirloom that was handwritten and never publish, mention that that source is unpublished. If the source is, for example, A History of Wabash Co., Indiana and Its People and was published, mention that it is! That way people will know if what you are citing is available (published) to them or not (unpublished) if they don't have a copy of the unpublished family heirloom.
- Date your sources. Along with publish status include when the source was written, published, recorded, etc. You wouldn't want to leave a photograph undated would you? (We all know how frustrating that is!) Well, this is no different from that.
- Include the page numbers cited in your source if possible. If the source is only a page or two then don't bother. If it is the size of War and Peace, however, you might want to go so far as to cite the paragraph number as well as page number.