Style matters. You probably wouldn't wear a tuxedo or evening dress to a pool party, just as you surely wouldn't wear overalls on uniform day.
Such breaches of stylistic mores can have both social and pragmatic consequences, disrupting our ability to perform tasks and to comport with the protocols of a particular community.
The same is true of citation styles. Just as different social contexts have different dress codes, academic disciplines have norms about what citation style scholars should use and how those citations should be formatted.
The purpose of these styles is to make citations as uniform as possible, helping readers to identify the source type (book? journal article? congressional hearing?) and the information needed to locate it (title, author, edition, etc.).
Properly formatted citations are therefore both a practical help to your reader and a signal that you’re a well-informed member of an academic community.
Citation Styles Information and Examples
The NPS citation guide is your one-stop shop for making your citations look sharp. It lists departments' preferred or required styles and offers guidance from the Thesis Processing Office and Graduate Writing Center. It also contains rules and examples for the most commonly used citation styles and sources used at NPS.