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The Oberlin College Writing Center and the Oberlin College Libraries can provide assistance with the writing of your research paper and citations. The Writing Center provides assistance with writing mechanics, including citation, developing a research question or thesis, developing an argument to support your thesis, as well as, reviewing your paper for sentence-level corrections and editing for flow and clarity. The libraries provide support for citation, including using citation management software such as Refworks, provides access to citation manuals, and assists with developing a research question or thesis relative to available sources, as well as, assisting in developing search strategies to find the best sources for your research.

How to pick a citation style

The citation style you decide to use throughout your paper will dictate the information you need to gather and how the information will be ordered, as well as punctuation and formatting you will use for your in-text citations/footnotes /endnote and reference list/bibliography/ works cited.  Deciding what style you will use in your paper at the beginning of your research will help you know what information about your sources you need to collect. 

Here are some steps to help you decide what style you want to use:

  1. Ask your professor or TA which style s/he prefers or requires for your course
  2. Pick among the standard styles based on discipline/area of study of the course
  • APA (American Psychological Association) used in the Social Sciences
  • Chicago, which supports two styles:
    • Notes and Bibliography used in the Humanities
    • Author-Date used in the Sciences and Social Sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) used in English, Rhetoric, foreign language, and the humanities
  1. Consult with a Writing Associate working in the Writing Center located in the Academic Commons, Mudd Center..

Once you have picked your citation style, be sure to consistent with it throughout your paper.  You may want to consider using a citation management tool such has RefWorks to help you collect, organize and cite the sources you use for your research.