Why is it necessary to show where words and ideas of others are used in your writing? When you use information from other authors in your writing, you must be honest about revealing your sources. To do this, various formal methods of acknowledging where you gathered information have been developed. These methods are called "documentation."
How documentation works
There are several specific styles of documentation, but all have the same idea: When you borrow another's information, you explicitly say in your paper what is borrowed and where it is from.
The documentation style you use depends on the disciplinary area of the subject. Your professor will tell you which style to use. Some documentation styles used at ACC include:
- APA (American Psychological Association) Documentation style, used by scholars in psychology, nursing, and various of the social sciences. Uses parenthetical in-text citations and bibliography (Reference List) at end of paper.
- CSE (Council of Science Editors) Documentation styles, formerly called CBE style, preferred by writers in many disciplines in the natural sciences, including biology, geology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. CSE style provides two different citation systems: the Name-Year System and the Citation-Sequence System.
- MLA (Modern Language Association) Documentation style, used primarily by those in literary studies, as well as some of the humanities. Uses parenthetical in-text citations and bibliography (Works Cited) at end of paper.
- Turabian Documentation style, or Chicago style, used mostly by scholars and writers in history, art, and music. Uses footnotes and bibliography at end of paper.