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Citing Sources: Identifying Parts of A Citation

Parts of a Citation

All citation formats include the same basic elements:

  • Author
  • Title of publication
  • Date of Publication
  • Location of Publication

The different citation styles ask that you put them in different formats for various reasons. For example, APA emphasizes the date of the publication and that is why it is usually found near the beginning of the citation.

It gets tricky when you are dealing with resources that have editors and authors, journal titles and article titles. Knowing how to dissect a citation can prevent a lot of headaches.

The images below are borrowed from St. Anselm College's Library guide:



Book citation

Book Chapters

If the entire book was written by the same author(s), including the chapter being cited, there will be no book editor(s) listed in the citation.

Book chater citation

Journal Articles

If the article is available online in a research database, you will often see the database's name and the date of retrieval in the citation, as in the example below. If the article was obtained from a print copy of a magazine or journal, the citation will end with the page numbers.

Journal article citation

Web Sources

If the web document has no author or publication date, its citation will not include this information. The "publisher" refers to the organization, company, or other entity on whose website the article or page resides.

Web Source Citation

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