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Style manuals – University of Reading

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Style manuals

Style manuals describe in detail:

  • ways in which you should refer to authors' names and the use of punctuation, capital letters and abbreviations;
  • the arrangement of your citations and bibliography
  • the use of footnotes
  • Latin tags such as ibid, and op. cit. (The use of these terms is no longer recommended much in the sciences, but you will often find them in older publications).

It is useful to look at the more general style manuals if you have to quote from a wide variety of sources such as Government publications, newspapers, legal or unpublished materials.

Advice on citing authors, including citing multiple authors, organisations and anonymous work, can be found in various style manuals and online. A good source of this information plus how to cite non-English names, English names with particles (for example van, von, de la) and authors with titles (academic or otherwise) is the Chicago manual of style (below) which has sections on personal names and authors.

The following books and style manuals may be useful; they are available in the Library.

General/basic style manuals

Chicago manual of style
Do not be put off by the size of this volume. Only one chapter deals directly with citation systems and it very clearly sets out the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches and gives examples. It also has an annotated bibliography describing other general and scientific style manuals.

Citing your references: a guide for authors of journal articles and students writing theses or dissertations

The Columbia guide to online style

A manual for writers of research papers, theses and dissertations 

MHRA style guide : notes for authors, editors and writers of theses
029.6-MHR (also available online)

Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors and publishers
2nd Floor Reference--501.49-COU and 501.49-COU
This book recommends both general and scientific publication style and formats for journals, books, and other types of publications. The section "Special Scientific Conventions" covers every major scientific discipline from the electromagnetic spectrum to viruses to astronomy. Because both American and British preferences are included, the manual can be used by authors submitting papers to both US and international journals published in English

Specialised/advanced style manuals

The ACS style guide: a manual for authors and editors
Includes special requirements for American Chemical Society publications and for other named journals. In chemistry publications it is often not necessary to cite the title of an article. It also covers the general principles and practices for contributors to all scientific literature and has chapters on manuscript submissions in machine-readable form and on effective oral presentations. 

How to cite legal authorities

Manual of legal citations 2 vols

The MLA style manual

Publication manual of the Amercian Psychological Association (APA)


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