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References and Citations

A reference gives the readers details about the source you referred to in the text. It tells them as much as possible about the source. References are listed at the end of the text.

A citation tells the readers where the information you mentioned in the text came from. You cite or refer to the source of information as you write the text (use author’s last name and year of publication).

Stylebooks Used in MCPS
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition ( This is used for general documents and correspondence.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ( This is used in technical and research documents and reports.

The AP Stylebook ( This is used for newsletter and news releases.

Identify the type of documentation you are working on and use the appropriate style guide to make your final product conform to a consistent body of work.

Style for Unpublished Works
Hickson, R. (October 2005a). Secondary reading interventions: Corrective reading at Earle B. Wood Middle School and Rockville High School. Unpublished paper, Montgomery County Public Schools.

Hickson, R. (October 2005b). Secondary reading interventions: Read 180. Unpublished paper, Montgomery County Public Schools.

Capitalize My Title
is an online tool that will automatically capitalize your title. Just plug in your title and it will capitalize it correctly for you. We recommend that you choose Do not capitalize words based on length (Chicago Manual of Style).  

  • Capitalize the first and last word
  • Capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinate conjunctions
  • Lowercase articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions
  • Lowercase the "to" in an infinitive (I want to play guitar)

Paraphrased from The Chicago Manual of Style: 16th ed., para. 8.155. Copyright 2013-present

Edifix: A software tool that will organize references and bibliographies into several industry styles, including The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition; Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, and MLA (Handbook of Writers of Research Papers). You can start with a free trial before you buy. Go to

Zotero: Online Help for Collecting, Managing, and Citing Your Sources
For those who use citations and references in much of their work, Zotero is a very useful tool that you can install and use to gather your information as you work. Go to and start exploring this tool, which is spearheaded by George Mason University's Center for History and New Media (CHNM). 

Remember to always budget time to double-check and tweak your final work against the appropriate style manual.

Contact Donna M. Marks or call the Editorial Help Desk at 240-740-2971.