Writing Studio Writing Resources

Basic formatting and quick references for the most popular writing style guides.

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Writing Guides

These quick reference guides are designed to give you information about common writing issues. You can also pick up hard copies of the guides at both Writing Studio locations during regular hours. Let us know if there is an additional topic you would find helpful. We want to make sure we cover all the issues you encounter in your personal and academic writing.

In addition to the guides provided by the Writing Studio, the UMKC libraries have handouts that cover a broad range of topics.

Explore library guides

Reference Page Formatting

Reference page formatting quick guides for the most popular writing styles.

APA style is used by writers in many disciplines around the world for concise, powerful and persuasive scholarly communication.

Basic APA formats: List the entries in alphabetical order by author. When there is no author, alphabetize by title. 
Article in journal paginated by volume Journals that are paginated by volume begin with page one in issue one, and continue numbering issue two where issue one ended, etc.

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896.
Article in journal paginated by issue Journals paginated by issue begin with page one every issue; therefore, the issue number gets indicated in parentheses after the volume. The parentheses and issue number are not italicized or underlined

Scruton, R. (1996). The eclipse of listening. The New Criterion, 15(3), 5-13.
Book with one author Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Article in a magazine Schultz, S. (2005, December 28). Calls made to strengthen state energy policies. The Country Today, pp. 1A, 2A.
Article from an online periodical with digital object identifier (DOI) assigned. A DOI is a number assigned to every website once it's made available online and is usually located on first page of an electronic journal article, near the copyright notice; also on the database landing page for article. Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number, page range. doi:0000000/000000000000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.0000/0000

Brownlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41, 1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161
Article from an online periodical with no DOI assigned Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number. Retrieved from http://www.journalhomepage.com/full/url/

Kenneth, I. A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human rights. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved from http://www.cac.psu.edu/jbe/twocont.html

The MLA Style Manual has become the standard guide for the scholar, graduate student and professional writer on preparing theses, dissertations and manuscripts of articles and books.

How to cite

For prose, place the author and page number of a work in parentheses after the reference, e.g., (Smith 76). For poetry, place the author and the line numbers after the reference, e.g., (Poe 15-17). When working with dramas, introduce the author in the text before a quotation and provide the play title and line numbers in the parenthetical citation, e.g., (Hamlet 15-17).

Writers must also consider if they have a short or long (block) quote.

Short Quotations (four or fewer typed lines): Place the quote within the text of the paper. Introduce the quote with a comma, and place the period after the parenthetical citation. Use quotation marks to show all borrowed material. Include author and page number.

Block Quotations (More than four typed lines): Place the quote one inch from the left margin, and omit quotation marks. Introduce the quote with a colon, and place the period before the parenthetical citation.

External citation template

MLA’s 8th edition uses the same citation style for all types of sources, universally. Much of this relies on the idea of “containers,” which might refer to a book, academic journal, collection, archive, database, CD or any number of different types of sources.

Because the template is meant to be used for all types of sources, use your discretion when determining what pieces of information to place emphasis on. For example, you might list the author of a film as the director if you mean to emphasize how the film was made, but you might list the author as the lead actor if you mean to emphasize a specific performance.

For every external citation, include only the information that you have regarding the source. If there isn’t a secondary container such as an archive, database or collection where you found the source, then you don't include any information regarding the second container.

Explore the MLA Style Center

Basic MLA format
Template Example
Last Name, First Name. “Title of Source.” Title of Container 1, Other Contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location. Title of Container 2, Other Contributors for Container 2, Version for Container 2, Number of Container 2, Publisher for Container 2, Publication date of Container 2, Location of Container 2. Lorensen, Jutta. “Between Image and Word, Color, and Time: Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series.” African American Review, vol. 40, no. 3, 2006, pp. 571-86. EBSCOHost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=


Build a works cited list with the MLA Practice Template

Formatting and organizing works cited

Alphabetize works cited lists and bibliographies by author’s last name or first key word of the title. Indent the second and subsequent lines of entries half an inch from the left margin.

example of a citation in mla format

Chicago/Turabian is a very complex style format. If you have any questions, it is highly recommended that you consult a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition or A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, 6th Edition for more information.

Reference List - A list that appears at the end of the paper that cites the sources using the author-date method. Use the reference list in conjunction with parenthetical references. This list includes only those sources that are directly cited in the paper.

Bibliography - A list that appears at the end of the paper that cites all of the sources you consulted while researching for the paper. This list includes sources you do not directly cite in your paper.

If using endnotes or footnotes as referential notes, then a bibliography or reference page is not required. A bibliography is recommended, however, to provide context for your paper as a whole. Using a bibliography can reduce information needed in referential notes.

If using endnotes or footnotes as contextual notes, then you need to cite the sources using a bibliography.

If using parenthetical references/author date references, then a reference page is needed.

Key for examples

N=in note form citation
B=bibliography citation
PR=parenthetical reference citation
RL=reference list citation

Books with one author

N 1. Charles Bazerman, The Informed Writer(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), 25. B Bazerman, Charles. The Informed Writer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981.
PR (Bazerman 1981, 25)
RL Bazerman, Charles. 1981. The informed writer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Magazine article

N 1. Christina Gorman, "Why So Many of Us Are Getting Diabetes," Time, November 30, 2003: 24.
B Gorman, Christina. "Why So Many of Us Are Getting Diabetes." Time, November 30, 2003.
PR (Gorman 2003, 24)
RL Gorman, Christina. 2003. "Why so many of us are getting diabetes." Time, November 30, 2003.

Newspaper article

Newspapers do not need to be cited in reference lists or bibliographies if they are cited in a parenthetical reference in the text. Newspaper pagination is not constant from one edition to another; therefore, page numbers are not included in newspaper citations. If a newspaper has multiple editions, common in larger newspapers, including the edition in the reference is preferred.

N 1. Rachel Raccuglia, "Local Acupuncturist Saves the Life of Area Kitten," Kansas City Star, November 16, 2003, local edition, sec. 1.
PR (Raccuglia 2003)

Journal articles

Journals can either be paginated sequentially throughout a volume or they can have separate pagination starting with each issue. Though technically an issue number can be excluded if the journal is sequentially paginated, doing so is not recommended. You may omit the issue number if a month or season is included with the year, however.

N 1. Deepika Bahri, "Marginally Off-Center: Postcolonialism in the Teaching Machine," College English 59, no. 3 (1997): 277-298.
B Bahri, Deepika. "Marginally Off-Center: Postcolonialism in the Teaching Machine." College English 59, no. 3 (1997) 277-298.
PR (Bahri 1997, 277-298)
RL Bahri, Deepika. 1997. Marginally off-center: Postcolonialism in the teaching machine. College English 59 (1): 277-298.

Article from online database

N 1. Robert Bernard Hass, "The Mutable Locus Amoenus and Consolation in Tennyson's In Memoriam," Studies in English Literature (Rice) 38, no. 4 (1998): 669, URL
B Hass, Robert Bernard. "The Mutable Locus Amoenus and Consolation in Tennyson's In Memoriam." Studies in English Literature (Rice) 38, no. 4 (1998). URL
PR (Hass 1998)
RL Hass, Robert Bernard. (1998). The mutable locus amoenus and consolation in Tennyson's In Memoriam. Studies in English literature (Rice) 38 (4). URL

Article from website

N 1. Taegan Goddard, "Poll Suggests Trouble for McCain in 2008," Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, URL
B Goddard, Taegan. "Poll Suggests Trouble for McCain in 2008." Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. URL
PR (Goddard 2006)
RL Goddard, Taegan. 2006. Poll suggests trouble for McCain in 2008. Taegan Goddard's political wire. URL

Graduate Writing Initiative

The Graduate Writing Initiative guides, supports and evaluates resources and programs for graduate writers and provides resources for faculty working with graduate students.

Learn more about the Graduate Writing Initiative