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Savvy Researcher Workshops

A guide to library research workshops for WSU undergraduate students, graduate students, teaching assistants and instructors.

Introduction to Citations (all styles)

Various disciplines have developed citation and writing style guides to address specific needs within their discipline. These publications are still only guides and the final approval of any writing style or citation list must come from whoever is directing your publication. For students, this would be your teacher. For professional publication, this would be the editor of the publication in which you are submitting your manuscript.

Modern Language Association (MLA) is usually used in the humanities, since the style is well-suited to literature and archival sources. This style uses brief in-text citations in conjunction with a list of expanded citation information. The latest publication is MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th ed (2009).

Example of in-text citation: (Thomas 92)

The manuscript should include your name, the instructor's name, the course and the current date on separate lines in the top left corner of the first page. The manuscript title should be centered on the first page. A header on each page should include only your last name and automatic page numbering. See the style guide for more details.

American Psychological Association (APA) is commonly used in the social sciences, since the style is well-suited to quantitative studies and analysis. This style requires reference to the publication date in the in-text citation. The latest publication is Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 6th ed. (2010).

Example of in-text citation: (Thomas, 2006, p. 92)

The manuscript should include a title page, abstract, main body, and references. A header on each page should include the text "Running head:" with a brief title of your paper as well as automatic page numbering for each page. For example, Running head: KNITTING AS A FEMINIST PROJECT. Consult the style manual for details.

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APA Rules for Citations

Rules for a book:

  1. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then initials of first and middle names followed by a period, up to and including 6 authors. List names in the order given on the title page. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author. If more than 6 authors, name the first 6 authors, and add et al. to indicate the other names. If no author, use the editors’ names in the same format and add the abbreviation for editor within parenthesis, i.e. (Ed.) or (Eds.) and ending with a period.
  2. Year of copyright within parenthesis and followed by a period
  3. Chapter title (if appropriate), with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized and ending with a period
  4. [If needed] Type the word In and list editors names using the initial of the first and middle names and the last name followed by Eds in parenthesis and followed by a comma, i.e. In A. A. Editor & A. Editor (Eds.)
  5. Title of book, italicized, with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized and ending with a period (unless there is an edition number or chapter pages to include)
  6. Edition or volume number within parenthesis, i.e. (11th ed.) followed by a period (unless there are chapter pages to include)
  7. Page number(s) used (if only a few pages or one chapter were used), within parenthesis and followed by a period
  8. City followed by a comma. (If no state is used, follow with a colon.)
  9. State abbreviation in which the book was published, followed by a colon. (If the city is well known for publishing, do not include the state.)
  10. Publisher's name, ending with a period

Electronic editions:

  1. Use the DOI, if available.
  2. Use “Retrieved from” for Kindle books and other e-books when it is important to identify that the electronic edition was used.

If the work is not directly available online or must be purchased, use "Available from," and point readers to where they can find it.

Rules for a scholarly journal article:

  1. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then initials of first and middle names followed by a period, up to and including 6 authors. List names in the order given in the article. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author. If more than 6 authors, name the first six authors, and add et al. to indicate the other names.

OR if no author, begin with the article title ending with a period, followed by the copyright date.

  1. Date of copyright within parenthesis and followed by a period. Start with the year, followed by a comma, then the month and day, i.e. (2009, February 28).
  2. Article title with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized, and ending with a period (unless there is information about the special issue or section)
  3. Special issues or special sections within brackets i.e. [News] followed by a period
  4. Title of journal, italicized, with each major word capitalized, followed by a comma
  5. Edition or volume number also italicized and followed by a comma unless there is a issue number
  6. If an issue number is included, type no space after the volume, i.e. 48(1), followed by a comma
  7. Page number(s) used ending with a period

Add if electronic*:

  1. Always include the DOI, if available i.e. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225 **
  2. If the article is available electronically only, but does not have a DOI, type the word “Retrieved from” and write the URL. (Use the persistent URL, if available.) **

 

*If the article appears as a printed version as well, electronic information is not required.

**Do not end DOIs or URLs with any punctuation.

Rules for newspapers:

  1. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then initials of first and middle names followed by a period

OR if no author, begin with the article title ending with a period and followed by the copyright date

  1. Date of copyright within parenthesis and followed by a period. Start with the year, followed by a comma, then month, then day of the month i.e. (2009, February 28)
  2. Article title with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized, and ending with a period (unless there is information about the special issue or section)
  3. Special issues or special sections within brackets i.e. [Letter to the editor] followed by a period
  4. Title of newspaper, capitalized, and italicized (or underlined), and ending with a period (unless there is a special edition)
  5. Edition of the newspaper (for clarification, if appropriate) and ending with a period
  6. Page numbers: if available, type p. or pp. and write the page number exactly as it appears in the newspaper. If the article continues on a non-consecutive page, separate the section or pages with a comma, i.e. pp. A4, A6. End with a period.
  7. If the article is available only electronically, type the phrase “Retrieved from” and write the URL, but do not end with any punctuation
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APA Examples

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