Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology

Dalhousie University


Style Sheet


The department requires the use of the APA bibliographic style and parenthetical citation, both of which are explained on the following pages.


I. Citing in the Text


The advantage of using parenthetical citation is that you do not need to fuss with footnotes or endnotes; you refer the reader to the bibliography for further information about the source, which means that you must always include a bibliography when you use parenthetical, in-text citation.


The basic format is the same for all kinds of works, whether a book, an article, a videotape, whatever: you need the last names of the author(s), the year of publication, and if applicable the page numbers.


When referring to a work as a whole or citing a main theme, you don't need the page number, for example, (Narayan, 1997).


When citing or paraphrasing a specific part of the work, e.g. a piece of information or idea, and whenever quoting directly, you need to get more specific about where you got your information, for example, (Callon & Law, 1989. p. 60) or (Mirowsky & Ross. Chapter 1).


All quotations should correspond exactly with the original. Short quotations (three lines or less) should be incorporated into your text, enclosed within double quotation marks (" ") and provided with the proper citations to indicate their sources. Longer quotations (four lines or more) are separated from the text, single‑spaced (versus the double-spacing you use for the rest of your paper), indented on the left and right margins, and presented without quotation marks, thus:


The Puritan wanted to work in a calling; we are forced to do so.  For when asceticism was carried out of the monastic cells into everyday life, and began to dominate worldly morality, it did its part in building the tremendous cosmos of the modern economic order.  This order is now bound to the technical and economic conditions of machine production which to-day determine the lives of all the individuals who are born into the mechanism, not only those directly concerned with economic acquisition, with irresistible force.  Perhaps it will so determine them until the last ton of fossilized coal is burnt.  (Weber, 1992. p. 181)


Use quotations sparingly. Stringing quotations together can make you look like a lazy writer, or one who doesn't understand what s/he is citing. It also disturbs the flow of your paper, making it very disjointed. It's best to use quotations in the following circumstances:

            - when the author's own words make the point in an unusually powerful or elegant way

            - when you want to call attention to or criticize a particular statement

            - when you want to illustrate the author's individual perspective

            - when you can find no way to put the idea in words other than the particular ones the author uses

Often you can get the same point across in shorter, sweeter language yourself. In those cases, it is preferable to summarize and paraphrase instead. When you paraphrase a source, cite it just as carefully as you would a direct quotation.






II. Formatting Bibliographies


There are many different bibliographic styles. In the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology we use the APA (American Psychology Association) style, which is dominant in the social sciences. Within a particular style, there can be slight changes over time; the APA occasionally comes out with a new edition of its rules. Do not be too concerned about the tiny differences in punctuation and spacing that you will find in otherwise similar styles. The most important things to keep in mind are:


            (1) You must include all the information the reader needs to track down the source; and

            (2) You must be consistent in your presentation of the information.


With respect to electronic information, which can be especially challenging, try to direct the reader as closely as possible to the information being cited.  Also, provide addresses that work.


Within a bibliographic style, correct presentation varies for different kinds of works. For example, one cites books and articles differently because the reader needs different information to track them down. But all articles should be cited the same way; all books should be cited the same way. That includes punctuation, italics, spacing, etc.


Always put your sources in alphabetical order, by last name of the first author.


For more information on how to cite using APA style, including how to cite other types of sources besides books and journal articles, see This website is included in Dalhousie's Plagiarism Student Resources Page ( and on the Dalhousie library websites’ “How do I…?” section, under “Cite resources in a bibliography.”


Another great resource is RefWorks, now available to the Dalhousie community through the library.  This software allows you to compile, edit and format your bibliography in the citation style of your choice.  See


Note the 'hanging indent'--the first line of a reference starts at the left margin, but subsequent lines are indented.


III. Examples of the main types of sources


Book - basic format:

Lastname, Initials. (Year). Title of book (edition, if necessary). City, State/Province if not well-known city: Publisher.


Single author book:

Weber, M. (1992).  The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York: Routledge.


Multiple author book, specific edition:

Mirowsky, J. & Ross, C. E. (2003). Social causes of psychological distress (2nd ed.). Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.


Edited volume (collection of articles by different authors, all in one book):

Petersen, A. & Bunton, R. (Eds.). (1997). Foucault, health and medicine. London: Routledge.

Article in an edited book - basic format:

Lastname, Initials. (Year). "Title of article." In Initials Lastname & Initials Lastname (eds.), Title of edited book (pages). City: Publisher.


Narayan, K. (1997). "How native is a ‘native’ anthropologist?” In  L. Lamphere, H. Ragoné & P. Zavella (eds.), Situated lives: Gender and culture in everyday life (pp. 23-41). New York: Routledge.


Journal article - basic format:

Lastname, Initials. (Year). "Title of article." Title of journal, Volume (Issue if more than one), pages.


Abrams, P. (1988). "Notes on the difficulty of studying the state." Journal of historical sociology, 1 (1),  58-89.

Callon, M. & Law, J. (1989). "On the construction of sociotechnical networks." Knowledge and society: studies in the sociology of science past and present, 8, 57-83.

Young, D. J. (1999).  Deadly play: Shifting identities on the last train to Paris. Social analysis, 43 (3), 26-39.


Videotape - basic format:

Lastname, Initials (Executive Producer) & Lastname, Initials (Director). (Year). Title of film [Videotape]. City: Production Company.


Nichols, M. (Producer & Director) & Brokaw, C. (Producer). (2002). Wit [Videotape]. New York: HBO Video.


Website - basic format:

Lastname, Initials (year, date). Title of article. Retrieved date, from URL.


Statistics Canada. (2005, January 25). Population by selected ethnic origins, by census metropolitan areas (2001 Census).  Retrieved August 4, 2005, from =ethnic


Entry in online reference database - basic format:>

Database name. (year).  Title of article.  Retrieved date, from URL.


Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2004). Social realism. Retrieved February 7, 2004, from


Article in an online journal – basic format:

Last name, Initial (year).  Title of article. Title of journal. Volume (Issue).  Retrieved date, from URL.


Harrison, S. (1999). Cultural boundaries. Anthropology today, 15(5). Retrieved August 4, 2005, from


Online newspaper article – basic format

Last name, Initial (year, month day).  Title of article. Name of Newspaper. Retrieved date, from URL


Scrivner, L. (2004, January 24). City of cultures, city of faith. Toronto Star. Retrieved February 7, 2004, from


This style sheet is modified from a version produced by Prof. E. Whelan.

(August 2005)