- Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature in conversation with Eleanor Wachtel on CBC’s The Best of Writers and Company.
“Doing strange things” works for Pamuk and it could work for you too, but there are times when even a Nobel Prize Winner must follow a specific format or writing style. Corporations, journalists and other professionals all use specific style guides. Academics also use style guides and part of your postsecondary education will be learning how to and practicing following a style guide in your writing.
A style guide describes how to format writing and give credit to your sources of information. You’ll hear your instructors talking a lot about citations. A citation is a way to tell your readers that what you wrote about (what you paraphrased or quoted) came from another source, and what that source is. There are short “in-text” citations in the body of your writing which refer to longer, full citations in the Works Cited section which appears at the end of your writing.
In addition to describing how to format citations for a works cited list and conventions such as when to use [square] brackets or how to use italics, you will learn how to create in-text citations which are brief references that show the sources you consulted (ex. author, title, publication date).
Note: Works cited refer only to sources which you directly reference in your writing, whereas a Bibliography or Works Consulted includes all the sources of information you consulted but may not have directly cited for your assignment.
At AUArts, we use the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Guide 8th Edition, which is commonly used for academic writing in the humanities, including English, history, philosophy, music and the fine arts. Below is an introduction to MLA Style and a few examples. Go to Academic Support at AUArts for comprehensive guides on MLA citations, essay writing, exam prep and time management.