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English 201: Strategies for Academic Writing

What is a citation?

A citation or reference is the information given in a bibliography or a database about a particular title, which often includes:

  • article title or chapter title
  • periodical title or book title
  • author(s) or editor(s)
  • place of publication
  • date of publication
  • publisher name
  • volume/issue (articles) or edition (books)
  • page range
  • medium of publication
  • electronic access (URL or DOI)
  • date accessed

Citations give credit to those whose ideas have contributed to your research and give your readers enough information to locate the sources you used. There are many ways to format citations. The style you choose depends on your field and the requirements set by your professor or publisher.

End-of-Text References (8th ed.)


Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. Volume, no.Issue, Year of Publication, pp. Page Range. Database Name, URL or DOI.


Print Article

Ellery, Karen. "Undergraduate Plagiarism: A Pedagogical Perspective." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 33, no. 5, 2008, pp. 507-516.

Online Article

Green, Raymond J., Amber Allbritten, and Anna Park. "Prevalence of Careers in Psychology Courses at American Universities." College Student Journal, vol. 42, no. 1, 2008, pp. 238-40. Academic Search Complete,,uid&db=a9h&AN=31824797&site=ehost-live&scope=site.



Author Last Name, Author First Name. Title of Book. Edition ed., Publisher Name, Year of Publication.

Chapter in an edited book

Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Chapter/Essay." Title of Book/Collection, edited by Editor(s), Publisher Name, Year of Publication, pp. Page Range.


One author

Shields, Charles J. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. Henry Holt, 2006.

Multiple authors

Anson, Chris M., Robert A. Schwegler, and Marcia F. Muth. The Longman Writer's Companion. 4th ed., Longman, 2000.

Chapter in an edited book

Smith, Paul M. "The Diverse Librarian." An Introduction to Reference Services in Academic Libraries, edited by Elizabeth Connor, Haworth Press, 2006, pp. 137-140.

In-Text References (8th ed.)

All sources that are either directly quoted or paraphrased should be cited within your research paper. If you mention the author's name before the direct quote or paraphrase then you do not need to include it in the citation.

  • Tilley describes apprenticeship as "watching and learning, then coaching followed by hands-on practice" (205).
  • Tilley describes apprenticeship in detail (205).

OR if you do not mention the author's name before introducing the quote then it would need to appear in the citation.

  • Apprenticeship is described as "watching and learning, then coaching followed by hands-on practice" (Tilley 205).
  • Apprenticeship has been described as a step-by-step process (Tilley 205).

Note: Block quotations should be used for quotes longer than four lines. Block quotations do not need quotation marks, should include an introductory sentence, should be indented 1 inch from the left margin and citation should appear in parentheses after the punctuation that closes the block quotation.

Formatting Requirements

Modern Language Association style is often used in the liberal arts and humanities and requires a separate Works Cited page:

  • The list of works cited must be labeled "Works Cited" and appear at the top center of the page
  • The list of works cited must be alphabetical by author last name
  • All citations must be double spaced
  • The second line and all subsequent lines of a citation must be indented
  • Capitalize all words in the title of a work except:
    • articles - a, an, the
    • prepositions - to, from, between
    • coordinating conjunctions - and, but, for, nor, or