Citing Your Sources

5.2 What’s Included in a Citation

There are thousands of , and they all have different guidelines for how to format citations. However, most of them include the same types of information about a source.

In-text Citation

An in-text citation goes in your paper at the point where you quote, paraphrase, or summarize an idea from an information source. The elements and formatting will vary depending on the style you are using.

For example, an in-text citation includes the author name(s) and the page number of the information:

(Bruce and Lamb 68)

An in-text citation includes the author name(s) and the year of publication:

(Bruce & Lamb, 2019)

Some other citation styles, such as ’s notes-bibliography system and , use footnotes or endnotes to indicate citations.

Works Cited (or Reference) List Entry

A reference list, or works cited list, includes all of the publication details about each source cited in your paper, so readers can identify and find the sources you have used. The elements included in a reference and how they are formatted will vary depending on the style. Still, a reference in any style answers four questions about an information source. Read through the following interactive slides to learn more.

Check Your Understanding

Use the screenshot below, or the example journal article (PDF), to answer the questions that follow.

The top of the first page of a journal article, including information about who wrote the article, what it is called, and when and where it was published.

Example article is licensed under CC-BY-NC 4.0.

Now you’ll learn about the citation resources available to you.


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