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Re: Citing Publications In Your Technical Writing

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Ask Joe Biden

On Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 1:02 PM, <bill(--nospam--at)> wrote:

This has actually come up before with me, but I've never thought to ask.

If you do any technical writing such as specifications, reports, etc., where you have occasion to cite other references such as design codes and standards, ASTM specs, etc., what rules do you use to format the citations?

The problem I've had in the past is that the formal citation authorities such as the Modern Language Assocation (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) address primarily scholarly works, specifically in the humanities and "soft sciences." I can never find quite the proper classification for things like ASCE 7 or AISC Manual of Steel Construction in the style guides for MLA or APA.

I realize it's a minor problem - and I've even looked at what the standards like AISC have done in their bibliographies - but I just can't seem to find the correct formula for this.

Any thoughts?