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Research Guides

Engl102 Library Research Unit Guide for Students

Citation Help

The MLA Style and Formatting Guide from the OWL at Purdue is a great resource to consult about citations and formatting for your paper.

Most library databases, such as the library catalog and all Ebsco databases, have a feature that will show you how to cite the article or book you are viewing in various citation formats.  Look for a "cite" or similar link. You should be aware that these citations are not always correct. You should use them as a framework off of which you build your own citation.

Identifying Citation Elements: Articles

Identifying Elements in a Database

When creating a citation, you need to be able to identify the different components of which it is made. Below you will find the Detailed Record and the result that appears when you search for an article in Academic Search Premier. Each are color coded to designate the elements that are needed to make a citation. Other databases will have similar Detailed Records and search screen results that contain the same information, although it may structured in different ways.

Detailed Record

Search Screen

Identifying the Elements within a Citation

There are times when you have an article citation and then you need to use it to find the article. Below you will find the citation for an article in three citation styles: MLA, APA, Chicago Manual Style. Each of the elements are highlighted according to the same key as above.

Identifying Elements in a Scholarly Article

In some instances, you may find a scholarly that is not located in a database where the citation information is provided for you. In those cases you will need to be able to identify the citation information from the article itself. The image below links to an example of a scholarly article where it identifies the likely areas within the article where you will find the components that you will need to create a citation.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Identifying Citation Elements: Books

Identifying Elements in the Catalog

When creating a citation for a book, you will need to be able to identify the different components of which it is made. When citing a book, there are a couple of places you can find the information you will need.

  • If you have the book in front of you, you can find the information you need on the cover, the title page, and the edition notice page (normally located on the back of the title page)
  • The other place you can find the information you will need for a citation is in the Details section of the book's entry in the library catalog

Below you will find a Details section of a book's entry in the library catalog.  Each are color coded to designate the elements that are needed to make a citation. Other library catalogs will have similar Details sections that contain the same information, although it may structured in different ways.

Details Section

Screenshot of the details section of a book's catalog entry with sections highlighted to show the elements that are needed to make a citation

 

Identifying the Elements within a Citation

There are times when you have  a book's citation that you need to use to find the book. You can use the breakdown of the 3 citation styles located below (MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual Style) to understand the different parts of a citation. Each of the elements are highlighted according to the same key as above.

Screenshot of the parts of the MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles broken down to identify the different parts