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Citation Information

Citation Basics

Most style manuals include information on how resources should be cited and how a paper should be formatted.  Some frequently used styles are the American Psychological Association (APA) style used in the social sciences, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style used in literature, the arts and humanities, and the Chicago style used in history and publishing.  Typically your professors will let you know which style is required for your assignments.

The above tabs provide some basic examples of end-page citations or the format you would use for your bibliography or list of works cited. For other formats and further information on each style, use the links provided in each section.  If you need further help the library also has copies of the guides and style manuals in print. Library research staff and Writing Center tutors can help with any additional information or citation and style questions.


A very good online guide to citation can be found at the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab (OWL).

APA stands for the American Psychological Association and is the format designed for use within the field of psychology. However, other disciplines use APA as well, so always use the format your professor chooses.

In addition to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition, the APA maintains its own website with multiple examples of how to format your paper and cite your sources. If you’re unable to find the answer to your question here, check the APA Manual 7th edition or the APA website.

Papers constructed according to APA guidelines generally include the following elements:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Body
  • Subsections within the body, with headings
  • Tables and Figures
  • References

In most cases, each of these elements will begin on a separate page, and it is important to note that not all academic papers will include all of these elements.

For specific types of reports, your subsections may need to be named with headings that reflect the type of report you are writing. For example, in reports on experiments or studies you’ll usually need to follow the IMRAD structure with Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections. Be sure to check with your instructor to determine what the expectations are for your paper.


APA 7th Edition Commonly Cited Sources


Single Author

Author’s Last name, Author’s First and Middle initials. (Year of publication). Title italicized. Publisher.

Larson, M. S. (1977). The rise of professionalism. University of California Press.

Multiple Authors (two to 20)

List up to 20 authors by their last names followed by initials. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author.

Rivano, N. S., Hoson, A., & Stallings, B. (2001). Regional integration and economic development. Palgrave.

Electronic Journal Articles:

Author’s Last name, Author’s First and Middle initials, & Last names and initials of other authors, if any. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal italicized, Volume number italicized(Issue number), Page numbers. DOI

Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24(2), 225-229.

A note about DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers): If a DOI is available, include it in the citation.  If a DOI is not available, include the url, except in cases where an articles comes from a database.  For database articles, do not include the url.


Author (person or organization). (Date published or updated). Title of webpage italicized. Site Name. URL

Boyd, V. (2012, January 15). About Zora Neale Hurston. Zora Neale Hurston.

More Guidelines online:

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association, and its style guidelines have been assisting authors since 1951. In 2016, the MLA Handbook introduced a template using core elements in an effort to simplify much of the documentation process in MLA format. In 2021, the ninth edition was expanded with considerably more content and visuals.

MLA Formatting 9th Edition: The Basics

Papers constructed according to MLA guidelines should adhere to the following elements:

  • Double-space all of the text of your paper (including entries within Works Cited).
  • Use a clear font between 11 and 13 points. One example is Times New Roman font.
  • Use one-inch margins on all sides and indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch from the left margin.
  • Add a running head in the upper right-hand corner with your last name, a space, and then a page number. Pages should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
  • List your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date double-spaced in the upper left-hand corner of the first page. This is your header. There is no cover page.
  • Center the title on the next double-spaced line after the header.
  • Provide in-text citations for all quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information in your paper.
  • Include an alphabetized Works Cited page at the end of your paper that gives full bibliographic information for each item cited in your paper.
  • If you use endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.

MLA guidelines do change over time, so it’s important to be aware of the most current information. As always, follow the requirements of your teacher or professor; their requirements take precedence.

Book, Single Author:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Minot, Stephen. Three Genres. Pearson, 2003.

Journal Articles:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

Bagchi, Alaknanda. "Conflicting Nationalisms: The Voice of the Subaltern in Mahasweta Devi's Bashai Tudu." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 1996, pp. 41-50.

Electronic Journal Articles from databases:

If you are accessing a journal article from a database, you will need two containers to present the original publication information as well as the access information from the database. MLA requires a DOI (digital object identifier), permalink, or URL (in that order for preference) for online material.

Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1, spring 2010, pp. 69-88. JSTOR,


It is a good idea to list your date of access because web postings are often updated, and information available on one date may no longer be available later. When using the URL, be sure to include the complete address for the site except for the https://.

Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).

Excelsior Online Writing Lab. Excelsior OWL, 2019, Accessed 19 July 2019.

Guidelines on the Web:

Chicago-style citations utilize two distinct formats: the notes and bibliography format and the author-date format. Both formats usually include a separate bibliography page where all references are listed. Students should double-check with their instructors about which format is preferred.

Notes and bibliography: typically used in humanities classes like literature, art, and history. Sources are cited in the text with a raised numeral like this.1 Each numeral corresponds to a footnote at the bottom of the page or an endnote at the end of the essay.

Author-date: does not use raised numerals, footnotes, or endnotes. Instead, the source author and the date of their publication are referenced directly in the text within parentheses as seen here (OWL 2023). The parenthetical reference should appear before the period in the appropriate sentence, except in cases of block quotations (five lines or longer) when the parenthetical reference comes after the quote’s terminal punctuation. Often, page numbers should be included as well and would be listed after a comma following the year of publication. For instance, if we were citing the last lines of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, where he talks about boats pressing on “against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past,” that citation would appear like so: (Fitzgerald 1925, 180). These citations correspond with the bibliography included on a separate page at the end of an essay.


Chicago 17th Edition

Print Book Single Author:

Last, First M. Book Title. City: Publisher, Year Published.

Elton, Geoffrey R. England Under the Tudors. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 1991.

EBook: Electronic books (e-books) are cited exactly as their print counterparts with the addition of a media marker at the end of the citation: Kindle, PDF, EPUB, etc.

Journal Articles: Notes and bibliographic entries for a journal include the following: full name of the author(s), article title, journal title, and issue information. Issue information refers to volume, issue number, month, year, and page number(s). For online works, retrieval information and the date of access are also included.

Last, First M., and First M. Last. “Article Title.” Journal Title, Series, Volume no. Issue (Month Date, Year Published): Page(s).

Schofield, John. "The Tudor House and Garden: Architecture and Landscape in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries." Sixteenth Century Journal 38.2 (Summer, 2007): 614-615.

Electronic Journal Articles:

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Journal Title, Series, Volume, no. Issue (Month Date, Year Published): Page(s). Accessed Month Date, Year. <URL>.

Marshall, Peter. “Forgery and Miracles in the Reign of Henry VIII.” Past & Present. 178 (February, 2003): 39-73. Accessed July 16, 2013.


The title of a website that is analogous to a traditionally printed work but does not have (and never had) a printed counterpart can be treated like titles of other websites. For example, Wikipedia can be treated as a website, rather than as a conventional encyclopedia. This is a departure from previous editions of CMOS.

Last, First M. “Article Title.” Website Title. Month Date, Year Published [Date electronically published]. Accessed Month Date, Year [Date Accessed]. <URL>.

The Royal Household. “Henry VIII (r.1509-1547).” The official website of the British Monarchy. 2008/09. Accessed July 16, 2013.


RefWorks is a service provided to you for FREE through the PC Library. It allows you to

  • Create bibliographies, in-text citations, footnotes & end notes in hundreds of styles including APA, MLA, & Chicago
  • Add to, organize and manage your research
  • Import data from many of our databases & other research management software
  • Share your research with other students or faculty (great for group projects!)
  • Take your RefWorks account with you after graduation

Start Using RefWorks:

  1. Click on the image above
  2. Click on the “Create Account” link
  3. Enter a password and select Sign Up. RefWorks sends you an activation email.
  4. If you do not get an email within a few hours, check your spam or quarantine folder
  5. Once you find that email Release it from quarantine
  6. Open the URL in the email. The Sign in to use RefWorks page displays.
  7. Enter your login credentials and follow the on-screen instructions to complete your registration. You are logged into your new account and can start using RefWorks.

Some great videos to get you started:

1) Creating a RefWorks account


2) Introduction to RefWorks


3) RefWorks Basic Functionality 


4) Exporting References to RefWorks 


5) Creating References and Adding Documents Within RefWorks    


6) Organizing References with Folders in RefWorks


7) Collaboration Through Sharing in RefWorks


8) Organizing References with Projects in RefWorks 



***Remember: check citations generated from RefWorks for accuracy before submitting your work!***


Zotero is a downloadable, open source program that can collect and organize citations, and that works with MS Word, google docs and other platforms.  To use Zotero, you would first need to download it to your personal machine--it is not available for use on shared computers.

Writing and Academic Help

The Academic Support Services at Providence College provides numerous ways to support your research and writing efforts, including one-on-one writing help and academic coaching. For more information, and to book an appointment with them, click here to visit their homepage.