If you are wondering what citation styles are, well basically these styles are unlike the regular styles. They are only known as citation styles is because they differ in terms of syntax of information, location and even order, and all this comes under the references. There are quite a few citation styles and mostly they are reflecting varying priorities that could be either readability, publications, concision or even authors.
When it comes to citation styles, there are basically two divisions that should be considered. One is the documentary-note style and the other is the parenthetical style. In a documentary-note style, the standard format that is followed is of nothing but documenting of sources. For example, there usage of footnotes or even endnotes is used. And, this does not quite interfere in the reading process. However, when it comes to Parenthetical style, this style is also known as In-text style or an author-date style. For example, the content is made in the body by means of the parentheses.
An example for Parenthetical Style is in the following sentence taken from page 7 of a book written by Samuel Mathews in 1999.
Professor Mathews sates that "weather conditions in the Arctic Circle would be the result of Global Warming." (Mathews 1999, 7)
The fact remains that there are plenty of citation styles under the two major divisions as well. It often comes across as confusing for the student to know what style to use in a particular kind of research paper. One of the ways to do this is by asking the teacher. Certainly, it becomes a lot helpful and easier when you are told in advance as to what style you are to follow, than the student having to choose and decide on the style all by himself.
It takes a decent amount of time to choose the appropriate one from the many citation styles. There are many factors that should be included to choose the best essay style. Like for instance, the paper that you are writing, based on what discipline it belongs to, the citation style for that discipline is available. As much as going with the preference of the instructor is good, still with the different disciplines have different citation styles. The reason why you should look for different citation styles, especially the ones based on discipline is because what priorities are there in English subject, the same might not be within the subject of Psychology.
To start off with, the different disciplines that come under the citation styles are Humanities and also the Sciences. The following lines will discuss about a few citation styles that will help you understand under what discipline they are used.
When it comes to subjects like History and Economics, the Chicago Manual of Style is commonly used. In this citation style there are two things that are followed, one being usage of notes and bibliography and the second is the author and the date. The example for this is Michael Collen, The Mirror's Image: An Insight (New York: Penguin, 2004), 45-60.
The other common style is the Modern Language Association Style. This style is very popularly used in the field of arts and humanities. In this citation style, a complete description of each source is given.
The other most common of all citation styles, especially in the field of sciences is the American Chemical Society style which is used in the field of chemistry. There are also other citation styles under this discipline and that is the American Mathematical Society, and the American Institute of Physics.
The other common citation styles that come under the discipline of Social Sciences are mentioned below:
To start off with, the most popular is the American Psychological Association. This style follows the referencing of the Harvard pattern. Here, for example, the Author's name and the publication name comes first and they are presented on the reference page in an alphabetical manner. For example, Sheril, R. D. (1956). The terrifying future: Contemplating color television. San Diego, CA: Halstead.
The second style under this category is the American Political Science; the reference is to be stated in the following format. For example, (Central Intelligence Agency 1999 Afghanistan/Government World Fact Book, 1998. <> 1999, Jan. 29.'0
The other style is the American Anthropological Association which follows the Chicago style, apart from that there is the American Sociological Association style as well.
Last but not the least, when it comes to the citation styles under the discipline of law, two most common kinds are ALWD Citation Manual and the Bluebook. In the Bluebook form, the references are mentioned as, Charles Dickens, Bleak House 49-55 (Norman Page ed., Penguin Books 1971) (1853).