Brown Library :: Writing

Using a Style Guide

The Little, Brown Compact Handbook with Exercises (7th ed. 2009) is the recommended style guide for use by classes in English, Psychology & the Humanities. Copies are available for purchase in the college bookstore (use textbook lookup for current prices). Copies are also available for use at the reference and circulation desks at Brown Library.

Table of Contents & Page Tabs

The table of contents is found inside the front cover and on the opposite page. Part 8 is "Writing in the Disciplines." Section 58 is "MLA Documentation and Format." This section starts on page 462.

Look for the blue tab for section 8. Then look behind it for the MLA tab. On 462 you will find another menu. The first part of the chapter covers parenthetical text citations. The second part of the chapter, starting on page 474, covers works-cited.


You can also use the index at the back of your style guide to look for specific topics such as authors, books, or encyclopedias. Then you can go directly to the page related to your topic.


The following definitions are from The Little, Brown Handbook, 2004.

  • APA Style - A style of documentation used in many of the social sciences, including psychology.
  • Chicago Style - A style of documentation used in history, art, and other humanities.
  • Citation - In research writing, the way of acknowledging material borrowed from sources. Most systems of citation are basically similar: a number or brief parenthetical reference in the text indicates that particular material is borrowed and directs the reader to information on the source at the end of the work. There are different types of citation style.
  • MLA Style - A style of documentation used in the humanities, including English.
  • Parenthetical Citation - In the text of a paper, a brief reference, enclosed in parentheses, indicating that material is borrowed and directing the reader to the source of the material.

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