The 3 most important citation formats are APA, MLA, and Chicago. It's
challenging to figure out which one is the best citation format for
preparing your teen for college. Let me clue you in to the best path for
First of all, though, you might be wondering, "What is a citation format?"
Students will need to somehow cite sources of information used in
college papers. The citation is a note that gives enough information
for anyone to look up the source in the library, or find it on Google
And now you are probably thinking, "What in the world!? What does that
Here is an example of the different styles of citing sources from
Purdue Online Writing Lab
. This is an example of how the different citation styles quote a
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too Close Call." Time 20 Nov. 2000:
Poniewozik, J. (2000, November 20). TV makes a too-close call. Time,
Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time, November 20,
Notice how they all look somewhat similar and yet completely different at
the same time. That's why it's important to choose the BEST citation format
for your college bound teens.
Quick quiz! Did you learn a citation style in high school? And can you
still remember how to do it? Maybe a better question is simpler. Do you
know what it means to cite a source?
So here is the answer ....
Are you ready?
Because your child does need to know what it means to cite a source, even
if they don't remember exactly how to do it in 30 years. That's why I can
tell you with confidence the best citation format for college preparation.
The answer is: ANY OF THOSE would be the BEST for your child!
There are three good reasons why ANY STYLE is the BEST style.
1. When you learn how ANY citation style, you have learned to follow
detailed and specific directions on how to cite sources.
2. When you learn ANY citation style, you know how to follow the
directions for the other styles once you just look up the other style.
3. Students will be required to cite with ANY styles at some point in
college. College professors each have their own preference on style, so
it's a class-by-class determination on which style to use.
Don't use a citation style for everything your child writes, but do allow
them to enjoy the crazy-making, head-scratching citation style of your
choice at least one in high school. Everyone should experience that
challenge at least one time, don't you think?