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HIS 400: Understanding Deviance: Science and the Construction of Normality in the Modern World [Fall 2017]

Avoiding last-minute bibliographic crisis

Citing your sources completely and correctly is an essential part of writing history, and planning ahead and taking care with your sources will save you from difficulty when you are finishing the final draft of your junior paper or senior thesis.

Careful citation will also help you avoid plagiarism. For more information, see "Academic Integrity at Princeton," which is available as a booklet and online through the Writing Center's Writing Resources.

Planning ahead and keeping track of what you've found will make it much easier to finish the final draft of your paper without undue suffering. Choose a way to keep track of the citations to all the books and articles you discover (in ascending order of technical complexity):

  • Keep a notebook to record your research and ideas for the paper.
  • Print out each citation as you find it, and write notes on the printouts.
  • Email all the citations to yourself, and store them in a folder for the paper topic.
  • Create a Word document and cut-and-paste the citations as you find them.
  • Use bibliographic management software. Princeton supports Refworks, a free web-based bibliographic management service, and Endnote, a bibliographic management software package which is installed on many cluster computers. More information about both is at Managing your Bibliographic References with EndNote or RefWorks. And watch for sessions offered by OIT and library staff on how to get started with these tools. Another option is Zotero, a free Firefox extension available from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Zotero was designed by historians for historians, and is easy to install and use, but is not officially supported by the library or OIT (meaning that reference & help desk staff may not be able to answer questions about it.).

Citation styles and style manuals

Many historians use "Chicago style," the citation style set out in the Chicago Manual of Style. But there are many other citation styles, so first consult your instructor or advisor about the preferred format.

For Chicago style, you should keep one of these references close at hand:

Diana Hacker. A Pocket Style Manual, 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2015.
Trustee Reading Room Reference: Ready Reference
Call no. PE1408 .H26 2015
Very helpful summary of Chicago style, plus some other citation styles used in the humanities and social sciences. Less intimidating than Chicago.
Kate L. Turabian. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers, 8th ed. revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press editorial staff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Trustee Reading Room Reference: Ready Reference
Call no.: LB2369 .T8 2013
For many years, "Turabian" was the best introduction to Chicago style. The newest edition reflects the 16th ed. of The Chicago Manual of Style.
Mary Lynn Rampolla. A pocket guide to writing in history, 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2015.
Firestone Library
Call no. D13 .R295 2015
Another convenient abridgement of Chicago.
The Chicago manual of style, 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c2020.
Trustee Reading Room Reference: Ready Reference
Call no.: Z253 .U69 2010
The comprehensive and authoritative guide to citation style, plus many other matters of importance to academic writers. Available online at Chicago manual of style online.