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How to Cite - Tools, Tricks, & Tips for Managing Citations: Cite Articles or Books

This guide explains several ways to keep your article and book citations organized so you can use them in your papers.

Why Cite?

Why Cite?

Citing your sources may seem more like busywork than an active part of your learning process (especially since we all tend to leave this to the last minute), but it is an important part.  There are some very good reasons to to cite your sources.

  • Citations allow others to know what you used and locate that source if they need it.  (Think about all the times you used this process yourself.)
  • Citations help establish the credibility of your research.  (Did you use the right types of sources for the topic?)
  • Citations help you avoid plagiarism.  (It is not a guarantee, but is a part of the process.)
  • Citations allow you to acknowledge the work of other scholars from which you have used ideas, facts, opinions, or data.

What to Cite - Articles

So, What do I Need for an Article Citation?

All citations are made up of chunks of information.  While the order and some information chunks vary by the item being cited or the style you use, there are chunks in common with all citations.  If you are doing it by hand or need to double-check your citations, pay attention to the following.

 

  • Authors:  Last name, first name, & middle initial.  Your citation style will tell you if the authors in the text of your document or in the bibliography should be only the first & middle initials or the full names.
     
  • Title of article: include the full title including a subtitle if there is one.  Capitalization is important to note - most of the time you will capitalize the first letter of the first word only, or if a subtitle, capitalize the first letter of that first word.  If there is a proper noun in the title, capitalize those.
     
  • Title of publication:  your citation style will dictate if the full name or an abbreviation of the title should be used.  Some citation styles will have you italicize the full name of the journal.
     
  • Date article was published:  Be sure to include the year.  Additional details like month, month & day may be needed for some citation styles.
     
  • Publication details of Volume number and Issue number:  Note the volume of the journal and the issue number if available.  Some citation styles will skip the issue number, but for your notes, it helps to include it.
     
  • Page numbers:  include the range of pages of the article
     
  • Optional information - check the specifics of your citation style
    URL or DOI: If you accessed the article online, include the URL (web address) or the DOI (aka. digital object identifier - a number unique to the article being cited).

    Specific page number:  some citation styles will require a specific page number with the in-text citation (the one within the body of your paper).

Citation Examples - Articles

Journal Article from a Database
Bibliography:

Borgwardt, E. “FDR’s Four Freedoms as a Human Rights Instrument.” OAH Magazine of History, vol. 22, no. 2, Apr. 2008, pp. 8–13. https://doi.org/10.1093/maghis/22.2.8

In-Text Citation: (Borgwardt, 2008)

Journal Article from a Database
Bibliography:

Borgwardt, Elizabeth. “FDR's Four Freedoms as a Human Rights Instrument.” OAH Magazine of History, vol. 22, no. 2, 2008, pp. 8-13. Academic Search Complete. Accessed 5 Dec. 2017.

In-Text Citation: (Borgwardt 9)

What do I Need When Citing a Book?

So, What do I Need for a Book Citation?

 

  • Authors:  Last name, first name, & middle initial.  Your citation style will tell you if the authors in the text of your document or in the bibliography should be only the first & middle initials or the full names.
     
  • Publication date:  Note the year it was published
     
  • Title of book: include the full title including a subtitle if there is one.  Capitalization is important to note - most of the time you will capitalize the first letter of the first word only, or if a subtitle, capitalize the first letter of that first word.  If there are proper nouns in the title, capitalize those.
     
  • Place of publication:  Usually a city & state.
     
  • Publisher:  Note the company that published the book.  It will be connected to the place of publication by using a colon.
     
  • Optional information:  check the specifics of your citation style
    URL or DOI:  if you accessed the book online (ebook), then  include the URL (web address) of the book.  Some ebooks now have a DOI; depending upon your citation style, you might use that information.

 

Citation Examples

Book (Whole)
Bibliography:

Foucault, M., Burchell, G., Gordon, C., & Miller, P. (1991). The Foucault effect : Studies in governmentality : With two lectures by and an interview with Michel Foucault. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

In-Text Citation: (Foucault, Gordon, Miller, & Burchell, 1991, p. 157)

Book (Chapter) with Editors
Bibliography:

Scholz, J. K., Moffitt, R., & Cowan, B. (2009). Trends in income support. Changing poverty, changing policies, 203-241.

In-Text Citation: (Scholz, Moffitt, & Cowan, 2009)

Book (Whole)
Bibliography:

Foucault, Michel, Graham Burchell, and Colin Gordon. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality : with Two Lectures by and an Interview with Michel Foucault. University of Chicago Press, 1991.

In-Text Citation: (Foucault, Burchell, and Gordon 157)

Book (Chapter) with Editors
Bibliography:

Scholz, John Karl, Robert Moffitt, and Benjamin Cowan. "Trends in income support." Changing poverty, changing policies, edited by Maria Cancian and Sheldon Danziger,(2009): 203-241.

In-Text Citation: (Scholz, Moffitt, & Cowan, 2009)

Getting Help with Citations

You have several ways to get assistance crafting your citations.  The first couple of links are self-serve sites, but you are always welcome to use our Ask a Librarian service for things that just need a conversation.