Citing Sources : Understanding Citations
Understanding citations is important:
- It helps you to avoid plagiarizing someone else's work.
- As a reader of citations, it will help you locate research relevant to your needs.
- As a writer of citations, it will allow your readers to investigate your research.
Citations are best understood by breaking them down to their individual parts. The order of a citation can vary depending on the citation style you use, but the main elements are generally the same. Below are some examples of the most common types of citation and the indicators to watch for.
Stevenson, Bryan. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015. Print.
Author: Bryan Stevenson
Title: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Speigel & Grau
Date of Publication: 2015
Indicators of a book citation:
- Only one title is mentioned (e.g. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
- Mentions place of publication (e.g. New York)
- Mentions publisher's name (e.g. Speigel & Grau)
Steinbeck, John. “The Murder.” The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. Ed. Tony Hillerman and Otto Penzler. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000. 193-203. Print.
Author: John Steinbeck
Chapter Title: The Murder
Book Title: The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century
Editors: Tony Hilllerman and Otto Penzler
Place of Publication: Boston
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Date of Publication: 2000
Page Numbers: 193-203
Indicators of a book chapter citation:
- First title, the chapter or essay, is usually in quotations (e.g. "The Murder")
- Second title, the book, is in italics (e.g. The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century)
- Mentions place of publication (e.g. Boston)
- Mentions publisher (e.g. Houghton Mifflin Co.)
- Lists page numbers of chapter or essay (e.g. 193-203)
Nonis, Sarath A., and Hudson, Gail I. "Performance Of College Students: Impact Of Study Time And Study Habits." Journal Of Education For Business 85.4 (2010): 229-238.
Authors: Sarath A. Nonis and Gail I. Hudson
Article Title: Performance of College Students: Impact of Study Time and Study Habits
Journal Title: Journal of Education for Business
Volume & Issue: Volume 85 Issue 4
Date of Publication: 2010
Page Numbers: 229-238
Indicators of a journal article:
- First title, the article, is usually in quotations (e.g. "Performance of College Students: Impact of Study Time and Study Habits")
- Second title, the journal, is in italics (e.g. Journal of Education for Business)
- Mentions a volume and issue (e.g. displayed as 85.(5) or sometimes as 85.5)
Citations in UW Library Catalog
Citations in Databases and Publishers Websites
Databases and publisher pages can also provide you with citation information. Each database will display citation information differently, but a little investigation can reveal each component.
Database Results Page:
Publisher pages can also vary in how they present their citation information. But just like databases, by looking closely will provide with all you need.
Journal Article From Publisher's Page: