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Citing Sources

Using MLA, APA and other formats

Reading Citations

Video created by the University of Arkansas Libraries.

Identifying Parts of a Citation

A citation is a reference to a source of information.  A citation typically includes enough identifying information, such as the author, title, publisher information, date of publication, database retrieved from, etc. for a reader to be able to locate a copy of the item.

The ability to interpret citations or references from various sources of information is a fundamental research skill.  In order to be able to correctly cite an source in a specific style (e.g., MLA, APA), you need to be able to determine what type of source the item is, where the source came from, and identify the various elements of the source.

The boxes below provide several examples of the most common types of sources found in the library catalog, databases, and web sites.

Print Book

Print Book by 1 Author - Library Catalog Record

Note: If you are using MLA style, include the medium of source consulted at the end of your citation.

Chapter/Essay in a Print Book

Essay in a Print Book by 1 Author - Library Catalog Record

Notes: You will also need to include the page number range when citing a specific essay within an edited book. Review the actual book to locate the page number range. If you are using MLA style, include the medium of source consulted at the end of your citation (e.g., Print).

Online Journal Article

Online Journal Article by 4 Authors - Retrieved from a Library Database

Notes: Do not include the month or season (e.g., July, Summer) when citing a scholarly journal article in MLA style.  If an article has more than 3 authors, provide only the first author, followed by “et al.” For example: Knight, Sara, et al. If you are using MLA style, include the medium of source consulted (e.g., Web) as well as the date of access (e.g., 10 Oct. 2012) at the end of your citation.

Online Magazine Article

Online Magazine Article by 2 Authors - Retrieved from a Library Database

Notes: Do not include the volume and issue number when citing a popular magazine article in MLA style. If you are using MLA style, include the medium of source consulted (e.g., Web) as well as the date of access (e.g., 10 Oct. 2012) at the end of your citation.

Online Newspaper Article

Online Newspaper Article by 2 Authors - Retrieved from a Web Site

Notes: If you are using MLA style, include the medium of source consulted (e.g., Web) as well as the date of access (e.g., 10 Oct. 2012) at the end of your citation.

Online Government Publication

Online Government Publication - Retrieved from a Web Site

Notes: If you are using MLA style, include the medium of source consulted (e.g., Web) as well as the date of access (e.g., 10 Oct. 2012) at the end of your citation.

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