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Biology: Writing and Citing - Biology

Style Guides

Most academic writing projects require you to gather, evaluate, and use the work of others.

When you draw upon the work of others, you must give proper credit. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism which is a serious breach of academic integrity. If you learn a few basic rules, you can quickly format your researched papers in accordance with the style required for your course.

Style guides are used to improve the quality and consistency of communications. They set standards for both writing and design, which leads to a unified presentation. Within academia, each discipline has its own documentation style. Biology courses usually require students to use either the Council of Science Editors (CSE) style or American Psychological Association (APA) style. Below are links to print books and web sources on APA and CSE styles.


APA Style 

APA Overview video


For  help with APA style formatting and citations, see the following sites and resources.


Cover imageCSE Style

Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers - The CSE style guide is available in the print BC3 Library collection. The Council of Science Editors (CSE) is the leading professional association in science publishing. This guide seeks to encompass all areas of the sciences, and it includes references for citing a wide range of sources.

  • Quick CSE Style Guide

    This online, freely available resource maintained by the University of Wisoncsin-Madison Writing Center provides a quick guide to CSE style.

Citation Management

Two web applications for organizing and managing sources are Zotero and Mendeley.

Zotero website

Mendeley Reference Management System

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