Elements of a Citation: What to Look For
When trying to determine what pieces of information from your internet site to include in your bibliography, keep in mind the following:
- Your goal is to lead the reader of your paper to the exact same source that you used.
- In order to do this you need to include as much information as possible about your source in your bibliography or reference list.
Look for the same bibliographic elements in your electronic resource as you would for a book, article or other traditional information resource.
These usually include:
- an author
- a title
- a date
For Internet sources also look for:
- The date the Internet site was created.
- The date you accessed the Internet site.
- The title of the Internet source
- The larger web site title (if applicable)
- The author's name
- Name of the creator of the larger web site (if applicable)
- The URL or telnet address
- Be consistent. Cite all your Internet resources using the same format.
- The same general rules for citing books and articles apply to Internet sites, with minor variations.
- Save a printout of the first page of every Internet site you use as a reference. It may come in handy for proving the site exists(ed) in case the URL changes or you made a mistake in your bibliography.
O.K. So How do I Actually Cite My Sources?
- Many citation style guides exist. Each recommends a different citation style. Because of this, it is not possible to include on this web page exactly how to format your citations.
- However, there are many web sites available that give recommendations on exactly how to cite electronic resources according to the various style manuals.
- The preceding is an annotated guide to a selective list of internet sites that offer advice on how to cite electronic resources in bibliographies, reference lists, and footnotes.
- Other such guides exist on the internet. To find them, try keyword searching in a search engine using keywords such as internet and citations, or the name of the style manual you are using.
Online Guides to Citing Sources
APA: Citing Electronic Sources
- APA Style: The Social Sciences: Diana Hacker and Barbara Fister
Electronic Sources: APA Style of Citation, by the American Psychological Association.
Excerpt of the 5th edition of the Publication Manual.
APA: Citing Print Sources
Writers Handbook: Documentation: APA Style University of Wisconsin.
Includes information on formatting an APA style paper, including information on headings and how to construct a References List.
(Note: Turabian's A Manual for Writer of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is commonly known as the "baby" Chicago Style Manual, as it is based on The Chicago Manual of Style but does not go in depth into topics such as book publishing that the Chicago Style Manual does.)
Chicago: Citing Electronic Sources
Chicago: Citing Print Sources
Writer's Handbook: Documentation: Chicago Style University of Wisconsin.
Gives sample notes for first and second references for a variety of sources. Includes instructions for creating a Works Cited page.
Citing Electronic Sources
MLA: Citing Print Sources
Writers Handbook: Documentation: MLA Style University of Wisconsin.
Gives a good review of how to incorporate quotes and paraphrased material from a variety of sources. Includes instructions for a Works Cited page.
CSE: Citing Electronic Sources
Printed Style Manuals Available at Rasmuson Library
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th edition. American Psychological Association: Washington, DC, 1994.
Available in Ready Reference Collection (small shelving unit closest to Reference Desk). Call number: BF 76.7 P83 1994
Chicago Manual of Style. 14th edition. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1993.
Available in Reference Collection, call number: Z 253 C57 14th 1993.
- Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 6th edition. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1996. Available in Ready Reference Collection (small shelving unit closest to Reference Desk). Call number: LB 2369 T8 1996.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th edition. Modern Language Association: New York, 1999.
Available in Ready Reference Collection (small shelving unit closest to Reference Desk). Call number: LB 2369 G53 1999
Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 6th edition. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 1994.
Available in Reference Collection, call number: T11 S386 1994
Other Printed Manuals
Electronic Styles: A Handbook for Citing Electronic Information, by Xia Li and Nancy B. Crane.
Available in the Ready Reference Collection, Call Number: PN 171 F56 L5 1996.
Handbook of Technical Writing by Charles T. Brusaw et al.
Available in the Reference Collection, Call Number: T11 B 78 1997.
Where Credit is Due: A Guide to Proper Citing of Sources--Print and Non-print, by Nancy E. Shields.
Available in the Ready Reference Collection, Call Number: PM 171 F56 S35 1997.