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Citation COP: Collect, Organize, and PunctuateKeeping it all Together

Save your brain

When you start citing sources, you'll run into all kinds of different questions. Should you put a period after the title? Is it Smith, J. D. or Smith, John David? Do you put the PhD after the name? Do you list all 30 editors? Do you underline the title? Do you capitalize all the words in the title or just the first one?

Do you have to memorize all those details and differences? You should know by now that the answer is "No!" You have other things to stuff in your brain. A style manual provides the guidance so you don't have to remember all the rules.

Just remember COP: Collect, Organize, Punctuate. A style manual will tell you how to:

  1. collect the right information about the source
  2. organize the information
  3. punctuate and capitalize the citation

Pick up a style manual and practice using it. If you get stuck, ask from help from your instructor, a librarian, or the writing center.


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