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Savvy Scholar 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.

MLA 8th Edition Rules for Citations

Rules for books and book chapters:

  1. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then the first and middle name as written on the title page followed by a period. If 2 or 3 authors, list names in the order given on the title page and write the names of the 2nd and 3rd author first name first. If more than 3 authors, name the first author, and add et al. to indicate the other names.
  2. Title of the chapter (if relevant), each major word capitalized, followed by a period, and written within quotation marks
  3. Title of book, each word capitalized, italicized, and followed by a period unless editors are needed in the citation and then end with a comma
  4. If a book chapter is used in the citation AND the book is edited, then write the editors name written edited by Leila J. Rupp and Susan K. Freeman and end with a comma
  5. Edition or volume number followed by a comma (first editions are not identified as such)
  6. Publisher's name (usually shortened, such as UP for University Press), followed by a comma
  7. Location of the publisher ONLY if it’s a small publisher or if location is not evident in the publishers name and written within parenthesis, such as Hadley Rille Books (Overland Park, KS)
  8. Date of copyright, followed by a period
  9. If the article was accessed electronically, add the title of the database, italicized, and followed by a comma OR the DOI number followed by a period

Rules for journal articles:

  1. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then the first and middle name as written on the title page followed by a period. If 2 or 3 authors, list names in the order given on the title page and write the names of the 2nd and 3rd author first name first. If more than 3 authors, name the first author, and add et al. to indicate the other names.
  2. Title of article is capitalized and followed with a period; article titles including special sections are written within quotation marks
  3. Special sections are written within parenthesis, followed by a period and an ending quotation mark
  4. Title of the journal, capitalized, and italicized and followed with a comma
  5. Volume and issue number; written vol. 124, no. 4 and followed with a comma
  6. Date of copyright followed by a comma
  7. Page number(s) used written pp. 124-128 and followed by a period if the citation ends here, or followed by a comma if electronic information is added
  8. If the article was accessed electronically, add the title of the database, italicized, and followed by a comma OR the DOI number followed by a period; if an open website, the URL should be included; (MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https://) URL is optional for library databases. Make sure URL is stable
  9. Optional: write the word “Accessed” and write the date when the user accessed the article, written day then month abbreviation (except for months with 4 letters or less) then year written Accessed 28 Aug. 2007 and followed by a period; Access date is optional for library database access, but be consistent in your list

Rules for all newspapers:

  1. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then the first and middle name as written on the title page followed by a period. If 2 or 3 authors, list names in the order given on the title page and write the names of the 2nd and 3rd author first name first. If more than 3 authors, name the first author, and add et al. to indicate the other names. If no author, start with step 2.
  2. Author's last name first, followed by a comma, then the first and middle name as written on the title page followed by a period. If 2 or 3 authors, list names in the order given on the title page and write the names of the 2nd and 3rd author first name first. If more than 3 authors, name the first author, and add et al. to indicate the other names. If no author, start with step 2.
  3. Title of article is capitalized and followed with a period; article titles including special sections are written within quotation marks
  4. Special sections are written within parenthesis, followed by a period and an ending quotation mark
  5. Title of the newspaper, capitalized, and italicized. (If the newspaper is NOT published internationally, include the state abbreviation in brackets.) Followed by a comma
  6. Date of publication written day then month abbreviation (except for months with 4 letters or less) then year written 3 Sept. 2015, followed by a comma
  7. Page number(s) used as appears in the newspaper written p. A4 followed by a period if the citation ends here, or followed by a comma if electronic information is added. (Pagination information is simply omitted if not used in the online article AND if the article is not available in print)
  8. If the article was accessed electronically, add the title of the database, italicized, and followed by a comma OR the DOI number followed by a period; if an open website, the URL should be included; (MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https://) URL is optional for library databases. Make sure URL is stable
  9. For open websites: URL of the article or the URL of the search page, followed by a period. (MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https://) URL is optional for library databases; if used, make sure URL is stable
  10. Open websites require a date of access written day then month abbreviation (except for months with 4 letters or less) then year, written. Accessed 28 Aug. 2007. Access date is optional for library database access, but be consistent in your list

MLA 8th Edition Examples

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