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Public Administration and Public Policy: Writing & Citing Public Policy

Managing References and Documents, Citation

Why is Academic Citation Important?

Documenting your sources gives credit to authors whose thoughts and ideas you have incorporated into your work. Proper citation helps you as a writer by strengthening your position and showing the depth of your research.

It is vitally important to be respectful of the sources you are relying on for your scholarly work. The University Library's Academic Honesty web page is a good source for discussions of what academic integrity means, what plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty mean, and what the sanctions for academic dishonesty are.

Because of the wide variety of sources used in public policy, you will be exposed to a spectrum of academic citation styles. You will have to ask your professors which citation style they prefer, and if a resource uses a different style, you will have to convert your citation to that resource to match your professor's preference. Fortunately, there are many programs which help you convert, although they are not error-free. 

Writing Public Policy

Here are some resources on how to improve your academic writing in general:

Some resources that address the requirements of good policy writing include:

Citation Styles

Studying by Sterlic

Different academic disciplines follow different formats for presenting citations, so check with your instructor to make sure you are using the appropriate citation style.  Here are some commonly-used citation styles:

Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS):

Chicago Manual of Style (2017, 17th edition: online or in print)

Chicago Manual of Style Online: Quick Guide


Other Citation Styles:

Canadian Journal of Political Science: Editorial Style Guidelines

Turabian style (A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (print)

APA Style

MLA Style

How to Cite Government Publications (from McMaster Univ)

Legal Citation (from Queen's Univ)

Academic Writing