Research Guides

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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. See below for example citation information for a book, article, and website. These examples use MLA style.

For a book you need:

  • Author
  • Title, underlined
  • Place (city) of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date (year) of publication

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

For an article you need:

  • Author
  • Title, in quotation marks
  • Name of periodical, underlined
  • Volume number
  • Date (year + month/day/season, if applicable) of publication
  • Page numbers

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

For a website you need:

  • Author/organization (sometimes hard to find, and may be omitted if you cannot identify one)
  • Title of article/item, in quotation marks
  • Title of website, underlined
  • Date of information (may be found near the top or bottom line of website)
  • Format and URL (see the location/address line at the top of the screen)
  • Date you saw this information on the Web

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


HOURS for June 22, 2021