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Introduction to Citing Sources

What is a citation?

The citation is the information about the book or article one provides to enable others to find that source. Always take care to note the details when you first find a citation. This will save you time and trouble when you write the bibliography (Works Cited list) for your assignment.

You will need complete citation information whichever style you use for your bibliography. The styles most often used are: MLA, APA, Turabian and Chicago. See a list of online style guides or consult the Reference Desk at any campus library.

Examples below use MLA style.

Citations for book, article and website
For a BOOK you need: For an ARTICLE you need: For a WEBSITE you need:
author author author or organization - sometimes hard to find, and may be omitted if you cannot identify one
title underlined title of article, in quotation marks title of article/item, in quotation marks
place (city) of publication name of periodical underlined title of website, underlined
publisher volume number date of information. May be found near top or bottom line of website
date: year of publication date: year + month/day/
season, if applicable
format and URL. See the location/ /address line at the top of the screen
  page numbers date you saw this information on the Web

Beckett, Samuel. Happy Days: A Play in Two Acts. New York: Grove Press, 1962.


Graham, Sandra and Susan Hoehn. "Children's Understanding of Social Stigmas." Child Development.
66 (1995): 1143-1162.


Gibbons, Ada and Russ Gibbons. "Jokes in Quechua - Chistes." Cultures of the Andes. 3 Mar. 1997. Online. Available: 9 April 2000.

The Elements of a Citation

Diagram - how to cite a book

Diagram - how to cite a periodical