Citation and Style Guides

Citation and Style Guides

Here is a list of the most commonly used citation and style guides and resources. For Excellence in Literature, you will be using MLA citations, but I suggest becoming familiar with other guides so that you’ll be prepared to use them when required for other subjects.






A few last notes

The classic orange Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) has always been my favorite style and citation guide. There are newer editions, and they are good, but this old orange one is usually the first one I reach for. Each time I pick it up, I learn something new or wander off on a delightful rabbit trail of style or citation I had forgotten about.

There are a few major works that have their own citation methods. These include:

  • Bible citations by book, chapter and verse (e.g. John 3:16)
  • Shakespeare notation by play, act, scene, and line numbers (e.g. The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 2, 4–8)
  • Stephanus pagination for Plato and Plutarch (e.g. (17a-42a) Apologia Socratis)
  • Bekker numbers for Aristotle’s works (e.g. (1447a) Poetics)

NOTE: Portions of this list of citation and style guides originally appeared on the website of the Duke University Library, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States License.