Citation Guide

OnlineSchools.org

You will refer to style guides throughout your undergraduate or graduate career. They are an instrumental part of writing essays and, one day, preparing your own work for publication. Undergraduates will practice a few different types of citation styles, based on the general class topics they are required to take. Graduate students will usually stick to one or two citation styles, since they tend to write in very specific fields.

Our review of the different citation styles takes the form of bulleted lists, covering the background and major rules of each style. The following examples use book sources, with both in-text and reference list citations. However, there are a number of ways to cite other sources, such as recordings, magazines, articles, or websites. For each citation below, we present three different sources: books, essays and websites. We also show you how citations are reference in-text and in works cited lists, assuming the style guide calls for such a list. If you’d like to view a complete list of source citations for each style, you can find a link to such a list below each set of examples.

MLA

The Modern Language Association of America developed this citation style; it is commonly used by academics in the humanities and liberal arts.

  • The in-line citation format is used within the body of the essay.
  • These citations must contain the author’s last name and a parenthetical number indicating the page the citation is found in the original text.
  • The author’s name can appear in the parentheses if not explicitly mentioned in the text; for example: (Carroll 36).
  • A separate works cited page at the end of the document lists citations sorted alphabetically by last name.
  • For each citation in the works cited, lines following the first line should be indented by a half-inch.
  • The basic citation model looks like this: Author. Title. Location: Publisher, Year.

In-text Example:

There are many scenes of political satire in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as Carroll writes of the caucus race, “Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all looked so grave that she did not dare laugh” (36).

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. New York: Macmillan, 1920.

Essay Citation: Podoll, Klaus. “Lewis Carroll’s Migraine Experiences.” The Lancet 353.9161 (1999): 1366. Print.

Website Citation: The Victorian Web. “Lewis Carroll’s Works.” The Victorian Web Authors. The Victorian Web, 2013. Web. 19 March 2010 <http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/carroll/works.html>.

For a complete list of MLA citation examples, click here.

APA

Psychology and social science scholars use guidelines defined by the American Psychological Association.

  • Parenthetical, in-text information is more detailed than in other citation styles, depending on what exactly you want to cite; be it an entire work, a specific page or an online article.
  • When the author’s name is mentioned in-sentence, the parentheses following the name should only include the page and year of publication.
  • If the author’s last name is not mentioned within the sentence, then group the last name, year, and page number at the end of the sentence, in parentheses.
  • The basic citation model looks like this: Author. (Year). Title. Location: Publisher.

In-text Example:

Research by Koehler (1947, p. 173) attributes the beginnings of Gestalt psychology to “the observation that sensory fields exhibit characteristics which are generally different from the sensations of traditional theory”

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: Koehler, W. (1947). Gestalt Psychology. New York, NY: Liveright.

Essay Citation: Bender, L. (1938). A Visual Motor Gestalt and Its Clinical Use. Research Monographs, American Orthopsychiatric Association, 3, xi-176. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1939-01720-001

Website Citation: Nelson Education. (2004). Innovative Features of the Bender Gestalt II and Expanded Guidelines for the Use of the Global Scoring System. Retrieved from http://www.assess.nelson.com/pdf/9-95644_BenderII_ASB1.pdf

For a complete list of APA citation examples, click here.

Chicago (CMS)

The Chicago Manual of Style is commonly used within history and anthropology publications.

  • First printed in 1906, it is one of the oldest style guides used in American schools.
  • Chicago uses footnotes rather than in-text parentheses. These footnotes pair with the numbered sources found at the bottom of the page.
  • Footnotes found in-text come in the form of numbers in parentheses.
  • The basic citation model looks like this: Footnote #. Author, Title (Location: Publisher, Year), Page. Non-book citations don’t include location and publisher – just the journal, volume and year in parentheses.

In-text Example:

Historian David Fischer describes the unique American mindset in his in-depth exploration of Paul Revere’s personality. “He thought of himself as an artisan and a gentleman without the slightest sense of contradiction – a new American attitude toward class.” (1)

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation:1. David Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 5.

Essay Citation: 2. Bernard Bailyn, “The Central Themes of the American Revolution: An Interpretation,” Essays on the American Revolution (1973): 50-61.

Website Citation: 3. “The Midnight Ride,” The Paul Revere House, accessed 16 September, 2012, http://www.paulreverehouse.org/ride/.

For a complete list of CMS citation examples, click here.

Turabian

This citation style, developed by dissertation expert Kate Turabian, is extremely similar to Chicago style.

  • As Butler University describes, the system was built for student essays that won’t be submitted for publication.
  • Turabian simplifies many of the formatting and publication details used in Chicago style:
    • In-text markings use a superscript number instead of a number in parentheses.
    • Footnotes differ in their use of superscript and the omission of the period after the footnote number.

In-text Example:

“He thought of himself as an artisan and a gentleman without the slightest sense of contradiction – a new American attitude toward class.”1

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: 1 David Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 5.

Essay Citation: 2 Bernard Bailyn, “The Central Themes of the American Revolution: An Interpretation,” Essays on the American Revolution (1973): 50-61.

Website Citation: 3 “The Midnight Ride,” The Paul Revere House, accessed 16 September, 2012, http://www.paulreverehouse.org/ride/.

For a complete list of Turabian citation examples, click here.

Harvard

This citation style is commonly used outside the United States, in scientific communities in countries like England, Australia, and Ireland.

  • The in-text, parenthetical citation requires the inclusion of the author’s name, followed by the year, and if appropriate, the page range.
  • The bibliography listing uses an order unique to Harvard style. The basic citation model looks like this: Author (year) Title. Place: Publisher, Chapters.
  • When it comes to articles in journals, the journal, volume, issue and chapter replace the location and publisher found in book citations.

In-text Example:

The famed Origin of Species describes the incremental shift of natural selection as a “daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations” (Darwin, 1907, p. 97).

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: Darwin, C (1907) The Origin of Species. New York: The Collier Press.

Essay Citation: Samarapungavan A and Weirs R (1997) Children’s Thoughts on the Origin of Species: A Study of Explanatory Coherence. Cognitive Science 21(2): 147-177.

Website Citation: Cognitive Science Society (2013) Journals of the Cognitive Science Society. Available at: http://www.isa-sociology.org/publ/sociopedia-isa_harvard-style-guidelines.pdf.

For a complete list of Harvard citation examples, click here.

American Medical Association

AMA style is used within healthcare and health science fields, appearing in publications like the American Journal of Public Health.

  • Superscript numbers within the text can reference a range of supporting reference materials with page numbers in parentheses, as you will see in the example below.
  • The basic citation model looks like this: Author’s name. Title. Location: Publisher; Year; Volume: Pages.

In-text Example:

Between 1979 and 1982, the Surgeon General released reports warning the public about the toxic and carcinogenic effects of cigarettes, with a special focus on ingredients like formaldehyde and acrolein. 1(p.314), 2(p.107)

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: 1. Perfetti TA, Rodgman A. The Chemical Components of Tobacco and Tobacco Smoke. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2009.

Essay Citation: Hackshaw A.K., Law, M.R., Wald N.J. The accumulated evidence on lung cancer and environmental tobacco smoke. British Medical Journal. 1997;315:980-988.

Website Citation: National Center for Biotechnology Information. Hazardous Compounds in Tobacco Smoke. PubMed Central. 2011. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3084482/. Accessed September 16, 2013.

For a complete list of AMA citation examples, click here.

ACS

The American Chemical Society is a unique format for citations used in research papers.

  • Academics and professionals in the chemistry field have some flexibility with the ACS style: they may choose from superscript numerals or italicized, parenthetical numerals when citing references in the text.
  • The Reference List presented at the end of the essay is unnumbered, sorted alphabetically by the author’s last name.
  • The basic citation model looks like this: Last name. Title; Publisher: Location, Year; Pages.

In-text Example:

Frederick Pontius is critical of the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, the process for assessing carcinogenic and toxic risk in drinking water, an “arbitrary view of the world of chemical contaminants [that] is presently in a state of flux” (1).

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: Pontius, F. Drinking Water Regulation and Health; John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, 2003; p 141.

Essay Citation: Smith, A.H.; Hopenhayn-Rich, C.; Goeden, H.M.; Hertz-Picciotto, I.; Duggan, H.M.; Wood, R.; Kosnett, M.J.; Smith, M.T. Cancer Risks from Arsenic in Drinking Water Environ Health Perspect. 1992, 97, 259-267.

Website Citation: Environmental Protection Agency. Current Drinking Water Regulations. http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/currentregulations.cfm (accessed September 13, 2012).

For a complete list of ACS citation examples, click here.

CSE

The Council of Science Editors guidelines were developed for writers involved in general sciences and biology publications.

  • Like ACS, scientists have some flexibility when it comes to in-text citations.
  • A commonly used format is name-year included within parentheses.
  • However, there are three reference choices: Citation-Sequence (C-S), Citation-Name (C-N) and Name-Year (N-Y). Read about each in the link provided at the very bottom of this section.
  • The Cited References list is sorted by the authors’ last names, alphabetically.
  • The basic citation model looks like this: Author. Title. Location: Publisher; Year. Pages.

In-text Example:

In their pivotal study (Owen et al. 2013), brain structure differences were detected in children suffering from sensory processing disorders.

Examples of Cited Sources:

Book Citation: Kranowitz, Carol. The Out-of-Sync Child. New York, N.Y.: Perigree Trade, Penguin; 2006. 384 p.
Essay Citation: Owen JP, Marco EJ, Desai S, Fourie E, Harris J, Hill SS, Arnett AB, Mukherjee P. 2013. Abnormal white matter microstructure in children with sensory processing disorders. NeuroImage: Clinical. 2(1): 844-853.
Website Citation: Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Homepage [Internet]. Greenwood Village (CO): Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation: c2012 [cited 2013 Sep 17]. Available from: http://www.spdfoundation.net/.

For a complete list of CSE citation examples, click here.