This is the "Introduction" page of the "How to Read a Citation" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
A guide to help you figure out how to decipher a citation, in any style!
Last Updated: Feb 3, 2014 URL: http://researchguides.baylor.edu/readacitation Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page
  Search: 
 
 

Navigation

Use the green arrows to navigate through the content of this tutorial:

 

License

Creative Commons License
This guide is licensed by Baylor University Libraries under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included.  I encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.

 

Citations

A citation is a reference to an item that gives enough information in order for you to identify it and to be able to find it again.

Generally, citations include four elements:

  1. Author
  2. Title
  3. Source
  4. Date 

The source information is the clue to figuring out what kind of resource the citation points to:

  • For a book, the source information will be a place of publication and a publisher.
  • For an article, the source information will be the journal title, the volume and issue numbers and the page numbers.
  • For a website, the source information will be the URL (which normally begins http://).

Other types of publications (audio/visual materials, government documents, dissertations, etc.) will generally include the basic four elements, but will also include enough information in order for the person reading the citation to identify both the type of information source, as well as how to find the information again.

 

What is a citation for?

"Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source).

A prime purpose of a citation is intellectual honesty: to attribute prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the correct sources, and to allow the reader to determine independently whether the referenced material supports the author's argument in the claimed way."

-- Citation. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved August 16, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citation
 

Where to find citations

Citations can be found in the bibliography or works cited section of books and scholarly articles as well as listed in the library's electronic or printed indexes and databases.

Description

Loading  Loading...

Tip