Following a set of rules ensures that all the information needed to find a particular source will be included in the citation. As the ways we look for information change citation styles also change. Certain elements may no longer be needed, and other new elements are included.
The rules are also designed to ensure consistency. If you become accustomed to a certain style, citations written in that style become much easier to read. The elements of the citation will always be in the same order, and you will recognize that order.
Which list below is easier to read?
2009. Kevin Bales. U of California P. THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR: human trafficking and slavery in america today. Rod Soodalter. Berkeley.Print.
Time. 7 July 2010. "Human Trafficking Rises in Recession." Fetini, Alyssa. 18 June 2009. Web.
Santana, M. C. Who is worth saving: human traffic news in the Caribbean and the United
States. (2009). Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.International Journal of Academic Research 1(2), 206-11.
V. MIzELl. T3.Web.Washington Post "Working to Shed Light on Very Dark Practices – Activists Seek to End
Human Trafficking in D.C." 8 Oct. 2009. Newsbank. 7 July 2010."Trafficking in Persons Report 2010." U.S. Department of State. June 2010. Web. 7 July 2010.
Bales, Kevin and Rod Soodalter. The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in
America Today. Berkeley: U of California P, 2009. Print.
Fetini, Alyssa. "Human Trafficking Rises in Recession." Time. Time, 18 June 2009. Web. 7 July
Mizell, Vanessa. "Working to Shed Light on Very Dark Practices – Activists Seek to End
Human Trafficking in D.C." Washington Post 8 Oct. 2009: T3. Newsbank. Web. 7 July
Santana, M. C. "Who is Worth Saving: Human Traffic News in the Caribbean and the United
States." International Journal of Academic Research 1.2 (2009): 206-11. Academic
Search Complete. Web. 7 July 2010.
"Trafficking in Persons Report 2010." U.S. Department of State, June 2010. Web. 7 July 2010.
Inspired by Hunt, Fiona and Jane Birks. "Citation Consistency Game." More Hands-On Information Literacy Activities. New York: Neal Schuman, 2008. 72-77. Print.