Aaa style Citation Guide: Short Version

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AAA Style Citation Guide: Short Version
Reasons to Cite:

You must give credit to authors for everything in your paper that is not strictly from your own head. This includes general ideas and background information, biographical information, paraphrases of an author’s words, as well as direct quotes.

How Often to Cite:

A paragraph drawn from the same source or sources can have a single citation at the end of the paragraph. If there are multiple authors used in the same paragraph, you must cite as many times as you need to make clear whose work is being used at what point. Use your judgment on this.

How to Insert Quotes:

Short direct quotes of three lines or less can be inserted into the body of your text. Long quotes of four lines or more must be indented as block quotes.

In the body of your paper, your parenthetical citations should be done as follows:
(Smith 1998). General background (Note that period goes AFTER the citation)

(Smith and Jones 1998). General background from a source with 2 authors

(Smith et al. 1998). General background from a source with more than 2 authors

(Smith 1998:23-25). Includes page number(s) for a paraphrase or direct quote

(Jones 2002; Roberts 1999). Multiple sources for same background: alphabetize and separate

with semi-colon

(Salt is Bad 2003). Website without an author: use title or part of title, with year and page number(s) as usual (NEVER use the www address!!!)

(Thompson 1999:3). Website with an author: cite as you would any other text.

(EPA 2005). Website using the name of organization in place of author
Special Case:

. [Smith 1998:23-25] Use square brackets for citation at end of a block quote. For block quotes ONLY, the period goes after the last word of the quote, BEFORE the citation instead of after.

Block Quotes:
Below is an example of a block quote, which you should use for long quotes that would be four or more lines long.
You should indent the block quote to the same point as you are indenting your paragraphs (suggested, one tab), and single space the text. You do not use quotation marks. Unlike “regular” citations, for block quotes you DO put the period before the reference. Then, the reference itself goes in square brackets, instead of parentheses. [Like This 2007:325]

[Sample of various types of references in AAA format]


Bennett, Tony

1995 The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. London: Routledge Publishers.

Csordas, Thomas J.

1988 Elements of Charismatic Persuasion and Healing. Medical Anthropology Quarterly



Gillespie, Eleanor

2002 Mythic Runner Exerts Primal Pull. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 19: 7P.

Ginsburg, Faye

2002 Screen Memories. In, Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain. John Smith and Joe Jones, eds. Pp. 39-57. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Diskin, Martin, ed.

1970 Trouble in Our Backyard: Central American in the Eighties. New York: Pantheon Books.

Relics from the Rubble

2002 Narrated by Josh Binswanger. This Week in History. 50 min. The History Channel, September 3 (video recording).
[WEBSITE WITH NO AUTHOR (use title of website in lieu of author name)]

Salt is Bad for Your Health

2003 Website by low salt diet advocates. Electronic document., accessed December 3, 2007.

Thompson, Mary

1999 Review of Dances with Wolves. Electronic document., accessed March 14, 2008.
[WEBSITE OF AN ORGANIZATION (use name of organization if no author)]

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

2002 Holocaust Survivors Read Names from September 11, 2001. Electronic document., accessed May 1, 2008.

Vexler, Jill

2002a Guest Curator’s Essay. Museum of Jewish Heritage Magazine 24(5): 452-458.

2002b Theater Theatrics. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 15(4):123-124.

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