About ACS Style
Developed by the American Chemical Society, this style may be used for research papers and citing resources in the field of chemistry.
ACS style provides rules for formatting:
- reporting original research: titles, bylines, affiliations, desciptions of chemical compounds.
- references included in the body of your essay (in-text)
- the reference list at the end of your essay (References)
It may seem like citing your sources is tedious, but it's important and there are many reasons to do it.
Each citation consists of two parts: the in-text citation, which provides brief identifying information within the text, and the reference list, a list of sources that provides full bibliographic information.
The purpose of citing your references is to:
- identify (cite) other people’s ideas and the information you use within your work
- avoid plagiarism
- allow the reader to find your research sources
- add credibility to your work
This online guide is based on the ACS Style Guide, 3rd Edition published in 2006.
Here are three different ways you can present information you have found in your research to consciously avoid plagiarizing.
1. Direct quote
When you use or copy the exact words or section of words from an author, you can surround that direct quote by quotation marks. Include the correct citation acknowledging the original author in your sentence.
Write a summary using your own words of the ideas or the text you want to use. Be original without using the words of the original work and be sure you cite that statement.
Paraphrasing is similar to a summary. It just means taking what you have read and rewriting it in your own words. You must cite that paraphrase.
ACS 3rd Edition
ACS published a new manual of style in 2006. Many changes were made to reflect the increase in use of electronic materials and publishing formats, such as:
- the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) in references to print and electronic sources (when available)
- discussions of markup languages
- writing style and word usage
- references to many resources on the internet
- preparation of figures, tables, and structures
- conventions in chemistry
- chemical structures
Why Cite Sources
Are you having some difficulty finding appropriate sources? Are you unsure if an Internet source is authoritative and reliable? Do you get overwhelmed when trying to learn about all the different databases available for you to use? Your Librarians are available to help you. Make and appointment for some in-person, one-on-one time with your Librarian. Click here, fill out the form, and a librarian will contact you to set up a time.
Need More Help?
Instructor and Subject Citation Requirements
Some instructors may have additional or specialized requirements for your citations.
For example, while the current MLA format does not require you to include the full URL in your citation, some instructors prefer that you do.
Always be aware of class requirements- check with your instructor if you're not sure!
American Chemical Society Style Guide
QD 8.5 .A25 2006
HOUSE OF LEARNING REFERENCE - 3RD FLOOR
- ACS Style Guide, 3rd ed., Chapter 14, 2006. (accessed 10/14/11)
- Butkovich, N.J. QUICK GUIDE: ACS CITATION STYLE. (pdf) 3rd ed. June 2010. (accessed 10/18/11)
- University of California Berkeley Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library. ACS (American Chemical Society) Style Guidelines Quick Guide (accessed 10/18/11)
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