This site offers examples and descriptions of formats used for citing information when you are writing a research paper. The two styles of citation listed on this site include MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association). Other styles are available in style books at the library.
This site offers only examples of the more common citations students use. For a wider range of topics, you need to consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Both style books are available in the bookstore and at the library.
General comments about citations are followed by sample citation forms listed below; the first set of forms is MLA style and the second is APA style.
General Comments about Citing Information:
Citations are the codes you use within the text of your paper to let the reader know where they might find the source of the information you are discussing. You must give credit to the scholars and researchers who have contributed to your ideas. Citations and bibliographies are ways for you to give appropriate credit. Failing to give appropriate credit to others can be viewed as plagiarizing. Two of the most frequently used forms for writing bibliographies and citations are the MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association) styles. Below are some sample citations and bibliographical entries which are consistent with these handbooks. Before reading the samples, however, take time to differentiate between quoting and paraphrasing.
Quoting and paraphrasing:
Paraphrasing and quoting an author's work are done at different times for different reasons. Generally, paraphrasing is preferred; you should use a quotation only when the author's phrasing or words are particularly vivid, striking, unusual, or meaningful. If you choose to quote an author, keep the quotation as short as possible. If you extracting a word, phrase, sentence, or passage from another's work and inserting it into your own, you are quoting the other author directly. Direct quotations should be enclosed by double quotation marks; if the quotation is longer than five lines of text, it should be indented and set off as a block quotation. Paraphrasing means you condense another author's meaning and translate it into your own words. If you paraphrase, you should not be using any of the author's phrasing. If you simply change a few words in the sentence, you are plagiarizing, not paraphrasing. One good way to paraphrase is to put the source away and come up with your own way of phrasing the idea. A paraphrase should not be enclosed in quotation marks. Both paraphrases and direct quotations should be cited according to the forms illustrated below.
If you decide to include a quotation that extends for more four typewritten lines of text, both MLA and APA require that you set this quotation off in a block. Both styles require that you double-space the quotation. Quotation marks are not used with either style. MLA requires the block to be indented ten spaces from the left margin; APA requires the block to be indented five spaces, the same as a paragraph indent.
Citing names of authors differs between MLA and APA. In MLA, when citing an author or individual for the first time, you identify the author's whole name, such as "Mark P. Moore." Thereafter, you use only the author's last name: "Moore." In MLA, scholars' first names will appear both in the bibliography and at the first mention of them in the text. In APA, scholars are referred to only by their surnames throughout the text; their initials will appear in the bibliography. In either style, scholars should not be called only by their first names in the text. They also should not be referred to as "Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss."
MLA: Citation Forms
Citing a work by one author:
Robert Iltis has used this perspective to make his arguments (29-30).
William Keith has illustrated the role of rhetoric in science (305).
Citing author's name in reference:
This argument has already been established (Iltis 29-30).
Citing one work by two or more authors:
Others, like Trischa Knapp and Mark Porrovechio (281-285), use different terminology.
Citing authors' names in reference:
Others talk about this topic differently (e.g., Knapp and Porrovechio 281-285).
Citing entire works:
Barbara Bate and Judy Bowker's Communication and the Sexes includes many examples of this trend.
Trischa Knapp and Larry Galizio present examples of excellent delivery in Elements of Parliamentary Debate.
Citing a work by one author:
Iltis (1992) has used this perspective to make his arguments.
Keith (1996) has illustrated the role of rhetoric in science.
Citing one work by three or more authors:
(For the first citation) Petronio, Olson, and Dollar (1989) indicate that . . . .
(After the first citation) Petronio et al. (1989) found indications of . . . .
Citing works by several authors:
The concept of culture has been used in a variety of ways by scholars depending on the ways they defined the concept (Walker, 1980; Knapp, 1996; Dollar & Zimmers, 1998).
A number of scholars such as Walker (1980), Knapp (1996), and Dollar & Zimmers (1998) have used the concept of culture in different ways.
Citing two or more works by the same author:
According to Dollar (1987, 1998) effective intercultural communication is possible when . . . Quotation of sources
Bate and Bowker raised some interesting questions concerning "synergistic power," a concept introduced by them in 1997 (p. 76).
They make important distinctions between the "human animal and the human animal" (Bate & Bowker, p. 6).