Citing Sources: Political Science

When information is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, the source of that information must be documented. Otherwise, you are guilty of plagiarism. To help you in avoiding plagiarism, see this tutorial.

Various standards have been created for citing sources, including APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago formats. Please note that standards for citing electronic information are still evolving, and many print and electronic style guides may appear to be inconsistent in their instructions.

Your professor may have specified which format you should follow; if not, choose one style to follow, and use that style consistently throughout your paper.

The American Psychological Association has a Basics of APA Style Tutorial (21 min.) In addition, examples of APA style (seventh ed.) can be found on the Web at:

APA Formating and Style Guide (from Purdue University Online Writing Lab)

APA Style Essentials (from D. Degelman and M. Harris, Vanguard University of Southern California) 
Includes a link to a complete article formatted according to APA Style, as well as a downloadable Microsoft Word template of an APA style paper.

Bibliographic Style Manual
Provides a practical guide for citing sources published by the National Library of Canada. Part 1 discusses General Conventions of Bibliographic Entries; Fields and Elements of an Entry; Capitalization, Spelling, Abbreviation, Translation and Romanization. Part 2 discusses Document Formats and Special Types of Documents. Document Formats include: monographs and serials as well as a variety of special materials such as braille or large-print publications, manuscripts, slides, filmstrips, motion pictures, multimedia kits and photographs. Special Types of Documents include: Conference Proceedings. Government Documents, Legal Documents, Legislative Documents, Patent Documents, Standards and Theses. Includes a general discussion on the scope, bibliographic information sources and special bibliographic features followed by examples.
REF: Z1001.T4413 1990

Brief Guide to Citing Canadian Government Documents
Provides a general overview of how to cite Canadian government publications

Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing
Provides information on abbreviations, hyphenation, spelling, capitalization, numerical expressions, italics, punctuation, quotations and quotation marks, reference formats, letters and memorandums, reports and minutes, and elimination of stereotyping in written communication. The chapter - Reference Matters - provides example footnote and bibliography entries including Canadian government publications. Also available as an e-book to the UPEI community.

Chicago Manual of Style
Provides a comprehensive guide for citation formats for articles, books, dissertations and thesis, and formal papers, Developed by the University of Chicago Press it is the "standard" for formal citation writing, style and grammatical usage. Presents two documentation styles: one for the arts and humanities and one for the natural and social sciences (author-date style).

Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Writers & Librarians
Provides information on the various types of documents and the elements that are required for each of them. Chapter 1 provides an introduction; Chapter 2 covers United States Government Resources; Chapter 3 covers State, Local and Regional Government Information Resources; Chapter 4 covers International/IGO Information Resources; Chapter 5 covers Foreign Government Information Resources; Chapter 6 covers Electronic Formats of Government Information. Includes a glossary and an index. Canadian government publications are covered in Chapter 5.
REF: J9.5.G35 1993

Electronic Reference Formats Recommended by the American Psychological Association
Provides the only authorized APA guidelines available on the Internet. Includes information on citing e-mail communications, web sites, individual documents on a web site, articles and abstracts from electronic databases and web citations in text.

Electronic Styles: A Handbook for Citing Electronic Information
Provides a guide to citing electronic sources including; full-text databases, Internet discussion groups, USENET Newsgroups, e-mail communication, and United States Government Documents.

Fit to Print - The Canadian Student's Guide to Essay Writing
Provides "advice on the organization of the essay and on specific question of grammar and style". Includes information on APA and MLA documentation including examples for citing government publications.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Provides information on selecting a topic, researching the topic, note taking, writing footnotes and bibliographies. Includes selected pages from a research paper. Developed by the Modern Language Association and based on the MLA Style, this is the preferred documentation style in language and literature. It is also used by some other disciplines in the humanities.

Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian)
Provides a standard guide for writing formal papers. Includes information on the format of the paper as well as the documentation. Sample entries for quotations, footnotes, bibliographies are given. Citation format is based on the Chicago Manual of Style.
REF. LB2369.T8 2013

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Provides general information on content and organization of a manuscript, writing style, and the American Psychological Association citation style. This is the authoritative style manual for those writing in the field of psychology and other disciplines in the social sciences.

"Uncle Sam" - Brief Guide to Citing [U.S.] Government Publications
Provides a guide for citing United States Government publications. Prepared by the Government Publications Department, Regional Depository Library, The University of Memphis.

Note:  is a web-based reference management tool which you can use to create and format bibliographies using APA (and other) citation styles.

Created by: Cathy Callaghan, B.A., M.L.S.
Date Created: 30-June-2000
Date Revised: 8-October-2013

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