A style guide dictates style and formatting requirements for documents. You are likely to be required to follow a style guide for research papers and similar assignments as part of your class work at MSOE. If you do professional or academic publishing later on in your career, you'll also likely be required to follow a style guide.
Style guides may appear intimidating at first -- there's a lot of information to sort through. Fortunately, with a little practice, this will become second nature.
One of the most important tasks you'll need a style guide for is formatting your citations. When you write a paper and you reference work done by others, you must provide proper citations to those works. This is how you give credit to other authors and researchers, and it's an important step in avoiding plagiarism.
Following a citation format from a style guide ensures that your reader can easily determine where they can read the source material. A citation typically includes information such as the title, year of publication, authors, and issue/volume/page numbers (in the case of articles published in journals).
If you are creating a capstone or thesis document to conclude your degree program at MSOE, you may, depending on your program, be required to use an official MSOE style guide.
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