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Citing Sources

A guide for source citation (APA, MLA, and Chicago)

In-Text Citations

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style uses the author-page method for in-text citations. This means that when you cite a source, you should always provide both the author's last name and the page number(s) for the source.*

There are two ways you'll use other people's words in your work.

  • Paraphrases & Summaries: using the author's ideas in your own words
  • Quotations: using the author's exact words

The following tabs provide guidelines for in-text citations in both of these situations.

*Please note that when quoting or paraphrasing from an audio, video, or film clip, you will need to add a time stamp at the end of the in-text citation to indicate the moment referenced.

PARAPHRASES & SUMMARIES

Guideline: When paraphrasing where the author(s) is clearly identified in your text, add the page number after the sentence.

Example:

Others, like Jakobson and Smith, hold the opinion that children who attend pre-school are socially adjusted better than those who do not (156-57).

Guideline: When paraphrasing where the author(s) is not clearly identified in your text, add the author(s) and page number after the sentence.

Example:

Between 1968 and 1988, television coverage of presidential elections changed dramatically (Hallin 5).

Remember: When quoting or paraphrasing from an audio, video, or film clip, you will need to add a time stamp at the end of the in-text citation to indicate the moment referenced.

QUOTATIONS

Guideline: When a quotation runs no more than four lines, put it in quotes, incorporate the author's name into the text, and add the page number.

Example:

"He was obeyed," writes Joseph Conrad of the company manager in Heart of Darkness, "yet he inspired neither love nor fear, nor even respect" (87).

Guideline: When a quotation runs more than four lines, set it off from your text.

  • Begin a new line.
  • Indent one inch from the left margin, double-spaced.
  • Do not use quotation marks.
  • Add the page number in parentheses after the final punctuation mark.
  • Incorporate either the work or the author(s) into the text.

Example:

At the conclusion of Lord of the Flies, Ralph and the other boys realize the horror of their actions:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (186)

Guideline: When quoting a phrase that is not originally from the source you have, use the phrase "qtd. in" (quoted in) after the quotation. Follow with the author(s) of the source you have, the volume of the source (if more than one) followed by a colon, and the page number. Provide the information for the source you have in your Works Cited.

Example:

Samuel Johnson admitted that Edmund Burke was an "extraordinary man" (qtd. in Boswell 2: 450).

Remember: When quoting or paraphrasing from an audio, video, or film clip, you will need to add a time stamp at the end of the in-text citation to indicate the moment referenced.

Works Cited Formatting Basics

MLA has a few formatting guidelines for the works cited list.

  • The references should start on a separate page at the end of your paper.
  • Use one-inch margins and a header with your last name and page number (same as the rest of your paper).
  • Title the page Works Cited, centered at the top (no bold, italics, quotation marks, etc.).
  • References should be in a hanging indent format, meaning that the first line of each reference is set flush left and subsequent lines are indented, like this:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Etiam at porttitor massa. In non cursus lectus. Fusce eget risus vitae tellus venenatis vestibulum a sed tellus.

  • Double-space the entire list.
  • Alphabetize the list by each source's first author’s last name. If there is no author, start with the first significant word in the title.
  • In titles of articles, books, and other sources, capitalize each word, except for articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions, unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle. Examples: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose

URLs

URLs (uniform resource locators) provide the location for a source on the Internet. However, URLs can often change, which causes problems for references because we're trying to send our readers to a specific location.

DOIs

That location problem is where DOIs come in. DOI stands for digital object identifier. DOIs provide static, permanent online locations for sources. They're also noticeably shorter than most URLs, which is handy!

If you can't find the DOI on either the article or the database record page, you can look it up on CrossRef.org's Free DOI Lookup form. Scroll down to the bottom and type in the first author's last name and the title of the article.

References (Works Cited Entries)

BOOKS, including eBOOKS & REFERENCE BOOKS

The basic format is:

Last_name, First_name. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Publisher,* Publication Year.

* Don't include the parts of publishers' names that are not required to locate the publisher.

  • Articles (A, An, The)
  • Business abbreviations (Co., Corp., Inc., Ltd.)
  • Descriptive words (Books, House, Press, Publishers). However, when citing a university press, always add the abbreviation P, because the university itself may publish separately from its press (Ohio State U vs Ohio State UP).
  • If the publisher's name includes the name of one person (W. W. Norton, John Wiley), only provide the last name (Norton, Wiley).
  • If the publisher's name includes the names of more than one person (Harper and Row, Houghton Mifflin, McGraw-Hill), only cite the first of the names (Harper, Houghton, McGraw).

Notes & Exceptions:

  • URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Multiple Authors
Beck, Connie J. A., and Bruce D. Sales. Family Mediation: Facts, Myths, and Future Prospects. APA, 2001.
Edited Book
Gibbs, Jewelle Taylor, and Larke Nahme Huang, editors. Children of Color: Psychological Interventions With Minority Youth. Jossey-Bass, 1991.
Article or Chapter in an Edited Book
Massaro, Dominic W. "Broadening the Domain of the Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception." Cognition: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, edited by Herbert L. Pick, Jr., et al., APA, 1992, pp. 51-84.
Entry in an Encyclopedia
Bergmann, Peter G. "Relativity." The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993.
Electronic Book, from a Database
Arno, Stephen F., and Steven Allison-Bunnell. Flames in Our Forest: Disaster or Renewal? Island Press, 2002. EBSCOhost eBook Collection, library.columbiastate.edu:3443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=118239&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
Electronic Book, from an eReader
Schiraldi, Glenn R. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth. Kindle ed., McGraw, 2001.
Published Dissertation or Thesis, Retrieved from a Database
Laxdal, Leah Sigrun A Narrative Blind Eye: Visual Disability Representation Within the Brothers Grimm Folk Tales. Dissertation, U of Windsor, 2009, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
Published Dissertation or Thesis, Retrieved from the Web
Bruckman, Amy S. MOOSE Crossing: Construction, Community, and Learning in a Networked Virtual World for Kids. Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997, hdl.handle.net/1721.1/33821.

ARTICLES (JOURNAL, MAGAZINE, & NEWSPAPER)

The basic formats are:

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Article: Subtitle of Article." Title of Magazine or Newspaper, Day Month Year, pages.

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Article: Subtitle of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

Notes & Exceptions:

  • Journal articles only need the year.
  • Magazine, newspaper, and newsletter articles require the year and the exact date (month or month and day).
  • Online articles include the database name in italics (if applicable), followed by the DOI or URL, and closed with a period. See examples below.
  • URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Journal Article, from a Database, with DOI
Sangster, Alan, and Giovanna Scataglinibelghitar. "Luca Pacioli: The Father of Accounting Education." Accounting Education, vol. 19, no. 4, 2010, pp. 423-38. Taylor & Francis Online, doi:10.1080/09639284.2010.501955.
Journal Article, Print
Klimoski, Richard, and Susan Palmer. "The ADA and the Hiring Process in Organizations." Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, vol. 45, no. 2, 1993, pp. 10-36.
Magazine Article, Print
Lev, Baruch. "How to Win Investors Over." Harvard Business Review, Nov. 2011, pp. 52-62.
Newspaper Article, from a Database, with URL
Rapaport, Michael. "Loan-Loss Rule Spat Drags On." The Wall Street Journal, 8 Mar. 2013, p. C2. ProQuest Central, library.columbiastate.edu:3443/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1315101733.

ONLINE SOURCES

The basic formats are:

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Webpage." Title of Website, Version number, Publisher/Organization, Date of Creation (if available), URL. Access Date (if applicable).

Last_name, First_name. Title of Website. Version number, Publisher/Organization, Date of Creation (if available), URL. Access Date (if applicable).

Note: MLA citation for online sources contains the following pieces.

  • author(s) name(s)
  • webpage title (in quotation marks)
  • website title (in italics)
  • version number (if applicable)
  • publisher or organization affiliated with the site
  • date of publication/creation
  • URL
  • access date
  • Remember: URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Webpage

Note that a webpage is a small part of a larger website. Just as chapter and article titles aren't in italics, webpage titles aren't in italics, either.

Columbia State Community College. "Our History." Columbia State Community College, www.columbiastate.edu/about-us/history. Accessed 5 Mar. 2017.
Website

Note that a website is the larger source. Just as book and journal titles are in italics, website titles should be in italics, too.

Great Websites for Kids. American Library Association, gws.ala.org/. Accessed 3 Sept. 2014.
Blog Post
Stefanie. "Asking the Right Question: How Can the Reader Find the Source?" APA Style Blog, APA, 24 Jan. 2013, blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/01/asking-the-right-question-how-can-the-reader-find-the-source.html. Accessed 3 Sept. 2014.
Discussion Board Post
Mehmood, Zahid. "VPN Service -- Quick Poll." EDUCAUSE.edu, 9 Mar. 2012, www.educause.edu/discuss/discussion-groups-related-educause-programs/security-discussion-group/vpn-service-quick-poll-documenting-procedures. Accessed 3 Sept. 2014.
Tweet
@columbiastate (Columbia State). "Tell us. Where’s your favorite place to study on campus? #FridayFaves." Twitter, 24 Feb. 2017, 8:30 a.m., twitter.com/columbiastate/status/835165034372296705.
Facebook Post
@AmericanLibraryAssociation (American Library Association). "We've compiled some of our favorite resources to help libraries fight fake news. If you have others, please share in the comments. #programminglibrarian." Facebook, 24 Feb. 2017, 7:20 a.m. www.facebook.com/AmericanLibraryAssociation/posts/10155069173199771.

MEDIA (AUDIO/VISUAL) MATERIALS

The basic formats are:

Title of Film. Directed by First_name Last_name, Studio or Distributor, Year of release.

Last_name, First_name. [Screen name]. "Title of Media." Title of Website, Publisher/Organization, Publication Date, URL.

Last_name, First_name. Title of Image/Artwork. Creation Date, Organization or Agency, City.

Last_name, First_name. Title of Image/Artwork. Creation Date, Organization or Agency, City. Title of Website, URL. Access Date.

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Song." Title of Album, Name of Studio, Year, URL (if applicable).

Notes & Exceptions:

  • URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Motion Picture, as Viewed in a Theater
Despicable Me. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, Universal Studios, 2010.
Video, DVD
Labyrinth: Collector's Edition. Directed by Jim Henson, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2004.
YouTube or Social Media Video
Columbia State. "Columbia State - Schedule Planner." YouTube. YouTube, uploaded by Columbia State, 8 Jan. 2017, youtu.be/KOSpjDclKPM.
Audio Podcast
Stanish, Deborah, Erika Ensign, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy R. Roberts. "Verity! Episode 46 - Communication Breakdown." Verity!, 16 Jul. 2014, veritypodcast.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/episode-46-communication-breakdown/.
Artwork
Pissarro, Camille. Place du Carrousel, Paris. 1900, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Artwork/Image, Digital
Wyeth, Andrew. Roaring reef. [circa 1951], Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Smithsonian American Art Museum, americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=33040.
Music Recording
Bareilles, Sara. "Brave." The Blessed Unrest, Epic Records, 2013.

TECHNICAL AND RESEARCH REPORTS

The basic formats are:

Last_name, First_name. Title of Report: Subtitle of Report. Publisher, Publication Date.

Last_name, First_name. Title of Report: Subtitle of Report. Version, Number, Publisher, Publication Date, URL.

Additional Notes:

  • Format references for reports similarly to how you format references for books.
  • URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Corporate Author, Government Report, No Report Number, Retrieved Online
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance. Jul. 2010, www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/pa-pe_paper.pdf.
Corporate Author, Government Report, Report Number, Print
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Nursing Research. Palliative Care: The Relief You Need When You're Experiencing the Symptoms of Serious Illness. NIH Publication No. 11-6415, NIH, May 2011.
Authored Report from Institutional Archive
Paris, Scott G., Alison H. Paris, and Robert D. Carpenter. Effective Practices for Assessing Young Readers. CIERA Report No. 3-013, Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, 17 Jul. 2001, www.ciera.org/library/reports/inquiry-3/3-013/3-013.pdf.
Congressional Research Report
Kan, Shirley A. Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990. Report No. RL30957, Congressional Research Service, 29 Aug. 2014, www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL30957.pdf.

COURSE MATERIALS

The basic format is:

not applicable symbolnot applicable symbolThe MLA handbook focuses on writing and style conventions for writing research papers. However, we can use the MLA's general rules to interpret how to cite course materials. It all comes down to the elements of the source.

Additional Notes:

  • It's important to keep in mind that the reference list is designed to provide information describing the source.
  • In some cases, there won't be a source to cite. This often happens with materials that can't be shared, such as course notes or materials shown during lectures. When this happens, provide a quote or paraphrase in the text with as much identifying information as possible. (Don't put anything in the Works Cited.) Here's an example:
  • URLs should not include http:// or https://
During class on 3 September 2014, in an orientation class about college preparation, Professor Joe Schmoe stated, "Be sure to always bring your textbook with you to class."
 

Specific Examples:

Lectures (Live)
Schmoe, Joe. "Learning Styles of College Students." College Preparation 101, 28 Aug. 2014, Columbia State, Columbia, TN. Lecture.
Course Packs

Previously Published

If the material in the course pack was previously published (a chapter from a book, an article from a journal), cite the source as you would its original version. (See the tabs for books and articles.)

Original or Unattributed

If the material in the course pack was not previously published, cite the source as a compilation. Here's an example:

Schmoe, Joe. "Ten Steps to Succeed in College." Selected Readings in College Preparation, Compiled by Alice B. Carroll, Columbia State, 2017, pp. 5-8.
Class Notes
Class notes can't be retrieved by most readers. (You may share your notes with a friend or group in the class, but for the most part, no one else will see them.) Because class notes can't be retrieved, they should be cited in the text. (See the example above.)
PowerPoint or Other Files

Viewed Live

PowerPoint files or other materials shared live in a class are just like class notes—they can't be retrieved by most people after the fact. Because of that, they should be cited in the text. (See the examples above.)

Posted Online

If your professor posts PowerPoint or other files online (on a website, etc.), cite them as you would any other online source: provide the author, title, date, and URL.

Schmoe, Joe. "Study Strategies Before an Exam." College Preparation 101, 28 Aug. 2014, www.somesite.edu/studystrategies.pdf.
Documents Uploaded to a Learning Management System

Previously Published

If the material uploaded to CSCC Online Campus was previously published (a chapter from a book, an article from a journal), cite the source as you would its original version. (See the tabs for books and articles.)

Original or Unattributed

If the material uploaded to CSCC Online Campus is original (lecture notes) or unattributed (doesn't give full source information), then cite as much as you can that falls into the MLA format: author, title, source, date, and URL.

Schmoe, Joe. "Syllabus." College Preparation 101, 28 Aug. 2014, elearn.columbiastate.edu/d2l/home/Course_Name/Syllabus.htm.

CONFERENCE, MEETING, & SYMPOSIUM MATERIALS

The basic formats are:

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Paper, Poster, or Session." Title of Meeting/Conference, Organization, Day Month Year, Venue, Location.

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Proceedings Article." Title of Published Conference Proceedings that Includes Conference Date and Location. Edited by First_name Last_name, Publisher, Date of Publication.

Last_name, First_name. "Title of Proceedings Article." Title of Published Conference Proceedings that Does Not Include Conference Date and Location. Edited by First_name Last_name, Publisher, Date of Publication, Conference Date, Conference Location.

Additional Notes:

  • Unpublished paper, poster, or presentation sessions should follow the first example above.
  • Published conference proceedings should follow the second example if the conference title includes the date and location.
  • Published conference proceedings should follow the third example if the conference title does not include the date and location.
  • URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Conference/Symposium Presentation
Wimer, Aaron, Laura Palmer, & Morgan Rhetts. "Crossing the Digital Bridge: Digital Librarianship and Graduate Programming, A History." USG Teaching & Learning Conference, Apr. 2016, Athens, GA.
Conference Poster Session
Harbort, Bob. "Using Formative Assessment to Improve Depth and Precision of Student Understanding in Technical Coursework." Fourth Annual Polytechnic Summit, June 2012, Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta.
Conference Proceeding Article
Hilburn, Thomas B., et al. "A Model for Educating Systems Engineers." 2012 IEEE International Systems Conference (SysCon 2012), 19-22 Mar. 2012, Vancouver, BC, IEEE, 2012, doi:10.1109/SysCon.2012.6189459

INTERVIEWS

The basic format is:

MLA style for interviews includes: the person being interviewed (or the person sending the communication), the interviewer (if known), information about the place and date of the interview/communication (if known).

Notes & Exceptions:

  • URLs should not include http:// or https://

Specific Examples:

Personal Interview
Smith, Jane. Personal interview. 3 Oct. 2014.
Published Interview (Print or Broadcast) #1
Gaitskill, Mary. Interview with Charles Bock. Mississippi Review, vol. 27, no. 3, 1999, pp. 129-50.
Published Interview (Print or Broadcast) #2
Amis, Kingsley. "Mimic and Moralist." Interviews with Britain's Angry Young Men, by Dale Salwak, Borgo P, 1984.
Published Interview (Online-Only)
Zinkievich, Craig. Interview by Gareth Von Kallenbach. Skewed & Reviewed, 27 Apr. 2009, www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/1056940-skewed-%2526-reviewed-interviews-craig. Accessed 15 Mar. 2010.
Personal Communication (Email, Including Interviews)
Schmoe, Joe. "Re: Syllabus Questions." Message to the author, 3 Oct. 2014.

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