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Citing Sources (APA, MLA, ...): In English Papers (APA, MLA, and Chicago Style)

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Citing Chinese-Language Sources in English Papers

In APA Style

In APA Style

When writing a paper in English in APA style, there are two key considerations when preparing references for Chinese-language sources:

  • For non-Latin scripts (e.g. Chinese) you must transliterate the reference into the English alphabet. This allows you to put your references into alphabetical order. Generally the best way to do this is using pinyin romanization, however note that it is not necessary to include any tone marks.
  • You should provide an English translation of the title in square brackets (for journal articles, you need only translate the article title, not the journal title).

For example, if the source details in Chinese are:

Author: 劉長松
Article title: 中美貿易戰對中國經濟發展與應對氣候變化的影響及應對

Journal title: 世界環境

Volume and issue number: 2020(1)
Pages: 43-45

An APA Style reference would be constructed as follows:

You may notice that the capitalization of the article title and journal-title are a bit unusual. That is because different capitalization rules apply in pinyin romanization.

In MLA Style

In MLA Style

In a similar fashion to APA style, you need to transliterate the reference into the English alphabet (usually by the use of pinyin romanization) when writing an English paper in MLA. You may provide an English translation in square brackets if it seems necessary to clarify the title.

For the same example as above: 

Author: 劉長松
Article title: 中美貿易戰對中國經濟發展與應對氣候變化的影響及應對
Journal title:
世界環境
Volume and issue number: 2020(1)
Pages: 43-45

MLA Style reference:

You may notice that the capitalization of the article title and journal-title are a bit unusual. That is because different capitalization rules apply in pinyin romanization.

In Chicago Style

In Chicago Style

Similar to APA Style and MLA Style, Chicago Style also requires the transliteration of non-Latin scripts like Chinese when writing a paper in English. You may provide the English translation of the title in square brackets, depending on your audience.

For the same example:

Author: 劉長松
Article title: 中美貿易戰對中國經濟發展與應對氣候變化的影響及應對
Journal title: 世界環境
Volume and issue number: 2020(1)
Pages: 43-45

Chicago Style reference:

In Chicago Style, you may include Chinese characters immediately following the romanized version of the items they represent, if it is necessary to help readers identify references cited. They are usually confined to bibliographies. For the same example, it may be cited as:

You may notice that the capitalization of the article title and journal-title are a bit unusual. That is because different capitalization rules apply in pinyin romanization. 

Pinyin Romanization

Pinyin Romanization

The ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts is used for the examples on this page. These schemes are approved by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association. To learn more, go to Chinese pinyin Romanization Table (2011)