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How to Cite Company Names in Papers


Citing the source of information in a paper, whether an academic paper or business paper, is critical. Credible sources lend legitimacy and weight to a paper. Citations also protect both writer and subject: The cited resource receives credit for an idea, for research or for remarks, and writers avoid plagiarizing when they are careful to cite research, remarks and ideas.

Use APA (American Psychological Association) style if you are writing the paper for business purposes or for a business course. The APA style is most often recommended for the social sciences and business. If you are not absolutely sure which style to use, ask your supervisor or instructor.

There are several other commonly used styles. For example, MLA (Modern Languages Association) style is most often used in the arts and humanities. AMA (American Medical Association) style is used in medicine and the biological sciences. The Turabian style is used in all subjects, but most often only in college-level papers, and the Chicago style is used by commercial publications, such as newspapers, magazines and mainstream books.

Avoid citing a company if you can cite a company spokesperson or publication instead. The more specific a citation is, the more credible it is. Use a general company citation only when you cannot do otherwise.

Treat the citation the same way you would if you were citing an organization. Mention it in the text and in the end notes. You will need to mention the year and from where the source came.

In the text of your paper, you can write: "According to a 2003 Acme Foods brochure, kids love macaroni and cheese."

Or, you can write: "Kids love macaroni and cheese (Acme Foods, 2003)."

Make a more thorough entry in your end notes. You must lay out the information in the accepted manner, depending upon the source of the citation. Pay close attention to the order of information, punctuation and indentation for each.

For example, if a Power Point presentation was the source, the APA end note would look like this:

Acme Foods. (2003). Bringing macaroni and cheese into schools.
     [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Acme Foods website: 
     http://www.acmefoods.com/~ffy/papers/cpsp118t.ppt

The exact layout for a citation from a book, webpage or magazine article will be slightly different in each case. For different types of sources, you must use a style book and copy the end-note layout exactly.

Items you will need
APA Style Handbook
About the Author

Cat Reynolds has written professionally since 1990. She has worked in academe (teaching and administration), real estate and has owned a private tutoring business. She is also a poet and recipient of the Discover/The Nation Award. Her work can be found in literary publications and on various blogs. Reynolds holds a Master of Arts in writing and literature from Purdue University.