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PAL Research Guide

Writing Resources

Roosevelt University's Writing Center provides a number of resources to help you with your writing including both tutoring and workshops. You can find more at by clicking here.

Beyond Roosevelt, Purdue University's Online Writing Lab is an excellent source for you to consult during the writing process, you can find it here.

Writing Guides

Style Guides

What is a Style Guide and Why Use it?

A style guide is a set of rules to follow when writing to help you effectively convey information. Style Guides will help you with writing your paper. They will help you make sure that you use grammar correctly and write in a clear style. They are invaluable resources to consult when writing. Chicago, MLA, and APA are all style guides that will help you with writing as well as citing your resources. Additionally, there are other style guides that can help with your writing more broadly. Links to each are provide below.

There are four main writing styles, each are used in different contexts. Below, you will find a list of them, a description, and when they should be used.


Chicago
Colloquially called the Chicago style guide or CMOS, the Chicago Manual of Style has been published by the University of Chicago Press since 1906, including the Chicago Manual of Style Online since 2006.

What Is It?

CMOS is a set of standards for writing in commercial and academic publishing and one of the most widely used style guides. It includes recommendations for grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage; plus manuscript formatting and two variations of source citation.

When Should I Use It?

Chicago is the preferred style of print publishers in both fiction and nonfiction, and many academic journals in the humanities. Instructors in college or high school courses might teach Chicago-style citation but don’t usually enforce other preferences of the manual unless you’re writing for publication, like in grad school.

PAL provides a guide for writing citations in the Chicago Style. You can find this guide here, at https://libguides.roosevelt.edu/PALResearchGuide/Chicago.


MLA

MLA style began in 1951 when the Modern Language Association of America published the “MLA Style Sheet.” It’s been publishing the updated “MLA Handbook” for students since 1977 and the bulk of its contents online through the MLA Style Center since 2009.

MLA used to publish a separate “MLA Style Manual” for grad students and professional scholars, but that went out of print in 2016. Now “MLA Handbook” is meant for writers at all levels.

What Is It?

MLA style is primarily a set of guidelines for citation and formatting in academic papers. It’s best known for its source citation template. It includes limited guidance on writing mechanics and no recommendations for usage.

When Should I Use It?

Scholarly writers and journals in segments of the humanities focused on language and writing, like language studies and literary criticism, follow MLA style. English students in college and high school might use MLA style for citation and paper formatting instead of APA style.

PAL provides a guide for writing citations in the MLA Style. You can find this guide here, at https://libguides.roosevelt.edu/PALResearchGuide/MLA.


AP (Associated Press)

The AP style guide is officially called “The Associated Press Stylebook.” It publishes a biennial spiral-bound print book and the AP Stylebook Online.

What Is It?

AP style is a set of standards for writing in news media and one of the most comprehensive style guides. It includes recommendations for grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage; plus topical guides to define standards for news topics (like COVID-19) and cultural trends (like gender-neutral terms).

When Should I Use It?

AP style is the industry standard for journalism, and most blogs and content marketing. It’s technically the house style for the Associated Press, and most newspapers adopted the standards because many publish AP stories alongside their own.


APA

The APA style guide, officially the “Publication Manual,” started in 1929 as a lengthy article from a group of psychologists, anthropologists and business managers. APA has published seven editions of the “Publication Manual” since the first in 1952, and the APA Style Blog since 2009.

What Is It?

APA style is a set of standards to make scientific writing easier to comprehend. It includes recommendations for grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage; plus its signature in-text citation style, ethical standards for publishing research and how to format an academic paper.

When Should I Use It?

Scholarly writers and journals in many social sciences, humanities, health care and some natural sciences follow APA style. College-level instructors might prefer APA-style citation, and most high school and college instructors prefer APA-style paper formatting, but neither tend to enforce other APA recommendations.