SOCI 210: Citing your sources

Citation of sources is a vital part of scholarly writing. Not only does it allow authors to be recognized for their contributions, but it contributes to a lively and engaged scientific discourse.

This document provides some general advice for citations and references, followed by some information specific to this course.

Scholarly citations

There are many formats for citing sources in a document, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The example below shows a bit of text with citations in the style defined by the Chicago Manual of Style (The Chicago Manual of Style 2017).

Since the theoretical contribution of Karl Marx focuses on the power struggles between economic classes (Erikson 2017), one might assume it would be less applicable to hunter–gatherer societies that “did not sustain institutionalized power differences” (Little 2016, sec. 4.2). However, as Ellis (2018) points out, “theory is thought framework, a means of interpretation, and … a means of predicting sociological trends and interpreting them.” It would therefore be a mistake to ignore the potential usefulness of a Marxist study of hunter–gatherer society.


Ellis, Lindsay, dir. 2018. Marxism! | the Whole Plate Episode 9.

Erikson, Kai. 2017. The Sociologist’s Eye: Reflections on Social Life. Yale University Press.

Little, William. 2016. Introduction to Sociology: 2nd Canadian Edition. BC Campus.

The key features to note from this are:

While “Chicago Style” is a common format for adding references, there are many others that are popular in the social sciences, such as the American Psychological Association (APA style).

Reference management software

While it is possible to manage citations and reference lists manually, there are many apps that can help make recording and formatting your references easier. Some of the benefits of using a reference manager are:

Some popular choices for reference management software include:

Citing your sources in SOCI 210

I am agnostic about the specific style you use (Chicago, APA, ASA, etc), but please be consistent within a document.

When working on group discussion responses you can be somewhat more lax about citations. If you reference a work from the class readings you should include a parenthetical reference in the text, but you do not need to create a “references” section at the end of the document. If it is a resource from outside of class, please do include a full reference at the end of the document.


The Chicago Manual of Style. 2017. Seventeenth edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.