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Reference Managers: Citation advice

Supporting students who want to manage their references and easily create in text citations and reference lists

Major components of a citation

No matter what style you're using, the main thing your citation needs to do is help your reader find the source you used.

Citations of particular materials (i.e., books, journals, websites) are easily recognizable by the content that they require. When writing citations from scratch, be sure to include the following general components.

Books:

  • Title
  • Author(s)
  • Publisher
  • Publication Place
  • Year

Journal articles:

  • Title of article
  • Title of journal
  • Article author(s)
  • Volume
  • Issue
  • Year
  • Page numbers
  • DOI

Websites:

  • Website author (a person or an organization)
  • Title of website/webpage
  • Web address
  • Date of last revision
  • Date that site was accessed

 

The Purdue OWL site has information on annotated bibliographies. The Reference Managers tab offers several different computer software programs to help you prepare your bibliography.

Citations deconstructed

Easy Citations

If you need to create a rough draft bibliography in a hurry, Articles & Books and Google Scholar can help by capturing the essential pieces in fairly good order.  Please proofread!

Class exercise

Citing your Sources

It is essential to cite your sources of information when writing an assignment or research project.

There are many different citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA, etc). Different disciplines use different styles that reflect better the interests of their readers. Generally your professor will let you know which style to use. If your professor has no preference, choose a style yourself and be consistent, use the same style throughout your paper.

Citations give credit for ideas to the originator and allow the reader to track down the original sources of the information. Failure to cite your sources constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is a problematic and controversial topic in the sciences, ask your professor when in doubt or check the Academic Honesty Box for additional information.

Check the following video to learn more:

 
Websites with good citation advice: