This style guide is to be used for the preparation of essays.

Taking Notes

Much time can be saved and grief avoided if you take your original notes carefully. First, write down a full description of the source, including all the information that you will need in a bibliography. Record the page number from which each note is taken. Be sure to enclose direct quotations in quotation marks. If you are not copying the author’s words verbatim, condense and paraphrase them as you take the notes, in order to avoid partial plagiarism. When you include a direct quotation in your essay, check it against its original source to make sure it is reproduced accurately.


Long papers are better organized if you use subheadings to indicate major divisions. A statement at the beginning of your essay of its aim and a summary of conclusions at the end are helpful. Essays should be typed double-spaced, on standard paper, with adequate margins, so that the instructor has enough space to comment on your paper.

Citation of Sources

Inadequate credit given to your sources may constitute plagiarism. When researching your essay be sure to properly cite your sources. Citation of the source(s) of your information must always be given for the following:

  1. All direct quotations;
  2. Paraphrases of the statements of others;
  3. Opinions and theories not your own.

Although any adequate form of citation may be used, we suggest the form followed in The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology; The Canadian Journal of Sociology; and the American Sociological Review. Check with your instructors about their preferences, and be consistent

Quotation and Paraphrasing

  1. Short quotations (six lines or fewer) are to be incorporated in your text, enclosed within quotation marks, along with the proper citations to indicate their sources. Longer quotations are separated from the text, single-spaced, indented on the left and right margins, and presented without quotation marks.
  2. All quotations must correspond exactly with the original. If you omit any words from the original, use three spaced periods to indicate the omission (thus: . . .). A fourth period (. . . .) would indicate that the omission occurs at the end of a sentence in the original. Every addition to the original quotation that you include to clarify the meaning of the sentence should be enclosed in square brackets (thus:[ ]).
  3. Avoid quoting out of context.
  4. Paraphrasing is often preferable to the use of numerous quotations. Use quotations sparingly and in cases where the author’s text is particularly cogent.

References to your source(s) of information should include the author’s surname, year of publication, and pagination. The reference is enclosed in parentheses, within the text, e.g.,

Sixty-four per cent of retail trade was controlled from Canada and 14 per cent from the United States (Clement 1977:306-307).

If the author’s name appears in the text, do not include it in the reference, e.g.,

Clement (1977:115) argues for a recognition of two types of foreign investment by Canadian corporations.

Distinguish plural references to an author for a given year by letters, e.g.,

The rate of surplus value in the manufacturing industries of Canada has been calculated for the years between 1917 and 1971 (Cuneo 1978a). The interaction between social class and monopoly capitalism has produced unbalanced regional structures in Canada (Cuneo 1978b).

If more than one source is used to reference a statement, they should be enclosed in a single pair of parentheses and separated by semi-colons, e.g.,

There is evidence from the judicial sentencing literature (Green 1961; Nagel 1969) that the sex of the defendant has only a negligible effect on judicial dispositions.

If information referred to in parts of a sentence comes from different sources, make this clear in your citation. Note in the following example that citing a source in toto (without giving page references) means that the whole article or book is pertinent to your discussion, e.g.,

Whether once the very stimulus for rational capitalism (Weber 1958) or more possibly its functional product (Tawney 1962), Calvinistical-flavoured Protestantism has been seriously challenged.

If specific pages in a source are relevant to your discussion, be sure to cite them, e.g.,

Thirdly, the working class in western Canada has traditionally been much more radical than its counterpart in central and eastern Canada (Porter 1965:36-37, 309-336).

In the system of citation suggested here, no italics or abbreviations are used, nor are ibid. and op. cit. used. If all your material is drawn from one book, as in a book review, all citations after the first may simply note the page, omitting author and date. When quoting from such sources as class notes, lectures and discussions, you will not be able to use this form, but do be careful to indicate in some way the source of your information and use quotation marks when necessary.

Direct Quotations

Direct quotes from your sources must be cited with the page reference, e.g.,

The result is that religion in this country “has been converted from the keystone which holds together the social edifice into one department within it” (Tawney, 1962:270).

Long passages from other authors should be used sparingly. If you include them, be sure to use the punctuation and spelling of the person cited. E.g.,

As Luckmann (1967:39) puts it: In short, the decrease in traditional religion may be seen as a consequence of the shrinking relevance of the values, institutionalized in church religion, for the integration and legitimation of everyday life in modern society.


Use footnotes only for comments, not for citing sources. Put them at the bottom of the page, single-spaced, and number them consecutively through the text, (most software packages will do this for you), e.g.,1


1Throughout the paper, “third world country” refers to underdeveloped or developing countries (such as India and Jamaica) while “third country” refers to both third world countries and developed capitalist countries (such as Britain and, at times, the United States).

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures should be clearly labelled and, if not original, their sources clearly indicated in their caption. They should not be included in essays unless they are relevant to your discussion. Tables and figures should be referred to and discussed in the text. If they occur on a separate page, place them immediately before or after the page on which they are first mentioned in the text.

Bibliographic References

All of the references which you cite in the text of your essay should be listed alphabetically by author, with full publication information, on a separate page, titled References. Do not list items in the References unless you have cited them in the body of your paper. Two sources published by the same author in the same year are designated as a and b. If no date of publication is given, use n.d., both in your References and in citing the source in the text of your paper. All titles should be italicized and titles of articles in journals are placed in quotation marks.

n.d. Exhibit Labels in the Hall “Canada before Cartier.” Ottawa: Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada
Clement, Wallace
1977 Continental Corporate Power. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart
Cuneo, Carl J.
1978a “Class Exploitation in Canada.” Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 15 (30):284-300.
1978b “A Class Perspective on Regionalism.” Pp. 132-56 in Daniel Glenday, Huber Guindon, and Allan Turowetz (eds.), Modernization and the Canadian State.  Toronto: Macmillan

Further Information on Writing Essays

The Carleton University Library provides Library Guides for all disciplines as well as information on Book Reviews, Style Manuals, Essays and Thesis Preparation.

A Writing Tutorial Service is available to Carleton University students. This service offers free, individualized instruction on all aspects of essay writing. For further information contact the Writing Tutorial Service located on the 4th Floor of MacOdrum Library or call 520-1125.

Citing Your Sources

Visit the following to find out how to cite sources: