Category Archives: Q/A

What citation format should we use?

Someone emailed me this question, so I thought I’d answer it here in case anyone else has this question.

The preferred format for the academic field of technical communication is APA, so let’s use that for all assignments. I don’t expect strict adherence on things like homework assignments, but for your modules, feel free to use it. This website has a lot of good info on APA 7th edition (the current edition): https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html.

There are certainly other formats used on the academic side, such as the IEEE citation format: https://pitt.libguides.com/citationhelp/ieee

On the industry side, citation systems and style guides are numerous, and are often specific to individual organizations. Sometimes, broader systems like APA are used if they align with an organization’s goals (i.e. to provide technical information to professionals familiar with a particular citation system).