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Library DIY

Navigating UWG library resources and research

Have a citation but don't know what it cites

bibliographic citation is used in a reference or works cited list to acknowledge a work. It contains basic information needed to locate an item.

There are different citation styles for citing books, journal articles, chapters in books, dissertations, pamphlets, videocassettes, and other source types. The citations on this page are in APA, MLA, APSA, and Turabian/Chicago styles; these are the most common styles but there are other ones. (The Turabian style is a simplified version of Chicago, meant for use by students in non-published works, like their essays and research papers.)

Sometimes you see a citation in a reference list or in a database and need to determine what type of source it is. This page discusses how to dissect APA, MLA, APSA, and Turabian/Chicago citations for books, articles, and book chapters (the most common types of academic sources). Some of the examples below are borrowed from the UWG University Writing Center

Books

For  APA, MLA, APSA, and Turabian/Chicago, book citations typically include the author (or authors), the book title, the publication year, and the publisher. APA, APSA, and Turabian/Chicago also list the city in which the book was published; MLA only lists the city for books published before 1900. 

APA

Jacobs, A. (2011). The pleasures of reading in an age of distraction. Oxford: Oxford, UP. 

MLA:

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford UP, 2011.

APSA: 

Jacobs, Alan. 2011. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Turabian/Chicago:

Jacobs, Alan, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011.

The above examples include one author name (or set of author names), one title, and a publisher. 

Book chapters

If a single chapter of a book is cited, you will see more than one title and typically more than one author/group of authors. This citation includes the chapter's title and author, as well as the book's editor and the book title. 

APA: ‚Äč

Primavera, J. (1999). The unintended consequences of volunteerism: Positive outcomes for those who serve. In Ferrari, J. & Chapman, J.G. (Eds) Educating students to make a difference: Community-based service learning (pp. 125-140). New York, NY: Haworth Press.

MLA:

Primavera, Judy. "The Unintended Consequences of Volunteerism: Positive Outcomes for Those Who Serve." Educating Students to Make a Difference: Community-Based Service Learning. Eds. Joseph R. Ferrari and Judith G. Chapman. Haworth Press, 1999. 125-140.

APSA: 

Primavera, Judy. 1999. "The Unintended Consequences of Volunteerism: Positive Outcomes for Those Who Serve." In Educating Students to Make a Difference: Community-Based Service Learning, ed. Joseph R. Ferrari and Judith G. Chapman. New York, NY: Haworth Press.

Turabian/Chicago: 

Primavera, Judy. "The Unintended Consequences of Volunteerism: Positive Outcomes for Those Who Serve." In Educating Students to Make a Difference: Community-Based Service Learning, edited by Joseph R. Ferrari and Judith G. Chapman, 125-140. New York, NY: Haworth Press, 1999.

The examples above contain two author names (or sets of author names), two titles (one for the chapter title, the other for the book title), the publisher, and page numbers. The chapter "The Unintended Consequences..." was written by Primavera. Ferrari and Chapman gathered book chapters by different authors and put them together in a book called Educating Students to Make a Difference.... Ferrari and Chapman are called editors (abbreviated as "Eds"). Since Primavera's chapter is only part of the longer book, "125-140" indicates the chapter pages.

Articles

APA:

Baron, N.S. (2013). Redefining reading: The impact of digital communication media. PMLA, 128 (1), 193-200.

MLA:

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 193-200.

APSA:

Baron, Naomi S. 2013. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA 128 (January): 193-200.

Turabian/Chicago:

Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media," PMLA, January 2013.

An article citation includes a volume, an issue number, and page numbers. There are also two titles: the article title and the title of the publication source, such as a journal. In the above example "Redefining Reading" is the article title, and PMLA is the journal title. 128 is the volume number and the article is found in issue 1. The page numbers are 193-200.