Documentation Systems: An Overview

In-Text Citations

There are various types of in-text citation methods. The Chicago Manual of Style uses superscript numbers inserted into the text at the citation point. These numbers direct readers to corresponding footnotes at the bottom of the page or endnotes found at the end of a document. The Council of Biology Editors (CBE) uses superscript numbers also, but they direct reader to corresponding entries found only in a References List at the end.

By far, the most common method is parenthetical. Used by most style sheets, this system relies on parenthetical notes inserted at the point of citation. In the case of the American Psychological Association (APA), The Chicago Manual, and CSE styles, the parenthetic note contains an author name and publication date. The Modern Language Association (MLA) style places page numbers inside the parenthesis as well, indicating where the cited material can be found.

Each parenthetical note refers to a bibliographic entry in the end documentation, known as a Works Cited or References List. Most writers and readers prefer the efficiency of this system since interruption to the flow of text is minimal and less distracting.

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Introduction