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Citation Styles, Tutorials, and Tools: How to Read
a Citation

The Elements of a Citation

Here is the information you typically need in order to cite the following types of sources. We also have some tips to help you decipher citations so that you can figure out the type of information source being cited. This can help you locate useful sources that you might find in bibliographies or lists of references in your reading.

Book

Levitt Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything. New York : William Morrow, 2005.

Title Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Author(s) Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Place of publication New York
Publisher William Morrow
Copyright/Publication date 2005

Clues that this is a book:

  • Contains only one title: Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
  • Includes a place of publication: New York
  • Includes the name of a publishing company: William Morrow
  • Might or might not include page numbers.

To find a specific book, you can search the Library Catalog by author or title.

Journal Article (print)

Empirical assessment of expertise. Weiss, David J.; Shanteau, James; Human Factors, Vol 45(1), Spr, 2003. pp. 104-116. 
 
Article Title Empirical assessment of expertise.
Author(s) Weiss, David J.; Shanteau, James
Journal Title (title of the journal or magazine in which the article appears) Human Factors
Journal volume and issue Volume 45 Issue 1
Date of the Article Spring 2003
Page numbers for the article 104-116


Clues that this is a print article:

  • Contains the title of the article, sometimes in quotation marks: "Empirical assessment of expertise"
  • Contains another title, the title of the journal, newspaper, or magazine in which the article appears, often underlined or in italics: Human Factors
  • Contains a volume and, sometimes, an issue number: 45. 1, or sometimes 45(1)
  • The date is sometimes a year, sometimes month and year, sometimes season (example: Spring) and year.

 If you have a citation to a specific article that you are interested in finding, you can search the Library Catalog or the Electronic Journals List for the title of the journal.

Conference Paper

Computational intelligence techniques for a smart electric grid of the future
Zhenhua Jiang.  Advances in Neural Networks. Proceedings 6th International Symposium on Neural Networks, ISNN 2009, p 1191-1201, 2009

Paper Title Computational Intelligence Techniques for a Smart Electric Grid of the Future
Author Zhenhua Jiang
Conference Title Advances in Neural Networks: Proceedings 6th International Symposium on Neural Networks
Date 2009
Page Numbers 1191-1201

 

 

 

 

 


Clues that this is a conference paper:

  • Title includes words "Proceedings" or "Symposium" or "Conference" or "Congress" or "Workshop"
  • Date is a year

To find a specific conference proceeding (the proceeding is the collection of all the papers presented at the conference) search the Library Catalog for the name of the conference.

Newspaper article

Bick, Julie. "The Long (and Sometimes Expensive) Road to the SAT." New York Times 28 May 2006, Section 3 p6.

Article Title The Long (and Sometimes Expensive) Road to the SAT
Author(s) Julie Bick
Newspaper title New York Times
Date May 28, 2006
Page 6
Edition or Section 3


Clues that this is a newspaper article:

  • Like journal articles, it contains the title of the article (often in quotation marks) and the title of the publication
  • Unlike journal articles, the date includes the month and day in addition to the year
  • Some include section numbers: Section 3
  • Some include section numbers as part of the page numbers (e.g. A6, B4)

If you have a citation to a specific newspaper article that you are interested in finding, you can search the Library Catalog or the Electronic Journals List for the title of the journal.

Article (online)

Household Horror: Domestic Masculinity in Poe's 'The Black Cat' By: Bliss, Ann V.; Explicator, 2009 Winter; 67 (2): 96-99. 

Article Title
Household Horror: Domestic Masculinity in Poe's 'The Black Cat'  
Author(s) Bliss, Ann V.
Journal Title Explicator
Journal volume and issue Volume 67 Issue 2
Page numbers for the article 96-99
Database where you found the full-text of the article MLA Bibliography
Database platform EBSCO Host
Database provider (library or other group which provided access to the database) Georgia Tech Library
Web address of the database http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/


Clues that this is an online article:

  • Includes the elements of an article citation, such as two titles, volume/issue numbers, and page numbers
  • Includes the name of the article database in which the article was found: MLA Bibligraphy
  • Contains a URL to the article database in which the article was found: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/
  • Includes a date of access

Like print articles, you can search the Library Catalog or the Electronic Journals List for the title of the journal, newspaper, or magazine to see if we have access to the publication here at the library.

Web Page

(all of the elements might not be available for each web page)

NationMaster,   http://www.nationmaster.com/index.php.  2009.  Accessed November 19, 2009.

Author   no author listed
Title of web page   NationMaster
Web address   http://www.nationmaster.com/index.php
Web site host or publisher   NationMaster.com
Date of copyright or date page was updated   2009
Date you accessed the page   November 19, 2009


Clues that this is a web page:

  • Often does not have individual authors
  • Includes a URL to the site.
  • Does not include the name of a library or library database
  • Includes a date of access.

Thanks to Utah State for the permission to use and modify the "Elements of a Citation" and "Why You Should Cite Your Sources" material.

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