(prepared by Leslie Cantu, Writing Coach, Webster University Writing Center; updated 2007)
Papers in social sciences departments are generally written following American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Documenting your sources gives credit to previous researchers whose work you are using in your paper. It also allows your readers to go to the source of your information if they wish to do more reading on the topic.
You will document your source in two places: immediately after you use borrowed information and in a “References” page at the end of your paper. The following information is from Rules for Writers, by Diana Hacker.
For in-text citations, use the author’s last name and the year. Include a page number for direct quotations. Begin an in-text citation with a signal phrase, which uses the author’s name followed by the year in parenthesis.
The page number goes in parenthesis at the end of the sentence — but before the period. If the author’s name is not in the signal phrase, then include all information in parentheses at the end of the quote or paraphrase: (author, year, p. #)
Format for a Quotation
Humphrey (1959) insisted that “dancers love to suffer, and while they wallow in tragedy, they alienate and bore their audiences” (p. 40).
Format for a Paraphrase
(page numbers are not necessary but can be used to help the reader locate the passage)
The modern dance pioneer believed that many literary themes were inappropriate for dance because key relationships and ideas could not be succinctly portrayed to the audience (Humphrey, 1959).
A work with two authors
Use both authors’ last names each time you cite the work. Use “and” in a signal phrase or “&”in parentheses.
Stolerman and O’Connor (1986) argue that it is better for a writer to discuss a narrow aspect of a large topic in detail than to attempt to discuss loose generalizations (p.4).
A work with three to five authors
Use all authors’ names the first time you cite their work. In following citations, only use the first author’s name followed by the phrase “et al” (Latin for “and others”).
Eggen, Kauchak, and Harder define a hypothesis as “a tentative generalizing inference which is based upon the data available at the moment” (p.27).
Sometimes your source will quote another source. When this happens, use the full name of the original author in your signal phrase. At the end of the quote or paraphrase, follow this format: (as cited in Myers, 2003, p. 57).
Corporate author/government agency author
Treat a corporate author (for example: Centers for Disease Control) as you would a human author. If the group has a familiar abbreviation, you can abbreviate by following these guides: First citation: (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2002) Subsequent citations: (CDC, 2002)
Source with no author and no date
Use the first few words of the title and a comma in quotations, then the abbreviation n.d. for “no date.”
One study shows that panda bears are not truly nocturnal creatures at all (“Observing Pandas in China,” n.d.).
Your references page should have the title “References” centered at the top of the page. References should be double-spaced and alphabetized by last name.
If you have two works by the same author, further alphabetize those works by title. Italicize book titles and subtitles, but only capitalize the first word of the title and subtitle. Use p. or pp. to indicate page numbers in newspaper articles and items in edited books, but not for articles in magazines and journals.
Blom, L.& Chaplin, L. (1982). The intimate act of choreography.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Book with editor(s) and no author
Barr, R. & Eversole, J. (Eds.). (2003). The fire chief’s handbook.
Tulsa, OK: Fire Engineering/PennWell Corp.
Article or chapter in an edited book
Solomon, W. (1995). The site of newsroom labor: The division of editorial
practices. In H. Hardt & B. Brennen (Eds.), Newsworkers: Toward a
history of the rank and file (pp. 110-134). Minneapolis: University of
Article in a journal paginated by volume
(page numbers continue throughout year from issue to issue)
Boivin, J. (2003). A review of psychosocial interventions in infertility.
Social Science and Medicine, 57, 2325-2343. (Note: This reference
includes the volume number (57), but does not need the issue
Article in a journal paginated by issue
Heng, G. (1998). Cannibalism, the first crusade, and the genesis of
medieval romance. Differences-A Journal of Feminist Cultural
Studies, 10(1), 98-175. (Note: Volume number comes first and
is in italics.)
Article from a database
Palmer-Fornarola, J. (2003). Teaching tools: Dance history in the
classroom. Dance Teacher, 25(1), 93-96. Retrieved November 26,
2003, from International Index to the Performing Arts database
Non-periodical Web document
Mikuriya, Tod. (n.d.). Physical, mental, and moral effects of marijuana:
The Indian hemp drugs commission report. Retrieved November 26,
2003, from http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/ library/effects.htm
Article from an online periodical
Ratcliffe, H. (2004, January 15). Money troubles. [Electronic version].
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, pp. A1, A8.
Non-periodical documents on the Internet
Stand-alone document, no author identified, no date
Title. (n.d.). Retrieved month day, year, from http://website
Pandamania. (n.d.). Retrieved January 4, 2006, from
For Further Guidance
Obviously there are many more variations, in both print and electronic resources. For further help with electronic sources, see our handout titled “Citing Electronic Resources.”
APA Style Guide
Chicago (CMS) Style Guidelines (Also known as Turabian)
(Prepared by Webster University Writing Center)
In academic writing, it is important to give credit to authors whose research or ideas you use in writing a paper. Proper citations also allow the reader to easily retrieve additional information on the subject.
Papers written for history and some other humanities classes often use a footnote or endnote system called The Chicago Manual of Style. In addition, CMS papers may require a reference page; in CMS style, this is titled the “bibliography.”
Introducing sources in-text
On first reference of an author, use the author’s full name. When quoting sources, avoid “dropped quotes” by using a “signal phrase” that identifies the author, source, and /or context for the cited material. For example, Garry Wills writes that “we live in a different America” because of the Gettysburg Address. Generally, CMS uses the present tense (writes) or present perfect tense (has written). However, as noted by Diana Hacker in A Writer’s Reference, “If you have good reason to emphasize that the author’s language or opinion was articulated in the past…the past tense is acceptable.”
In Chicago Style there are no strict guidelines as to when to indent longer quotations. You may want to indent quotes more than four or five lines long for added emphasis; quotes longer than eight lines should always be indented.
In the typical footnote or endnote style, there are three citation points necessary in a CMS paper:
“The United States conditioned its financial and political support for the conservative-moderate anti-Pinochet groups on their willingness to break ties with the left and participate in an electoral calendar outlined by the dictatorship.” 1
After the first reference to a work, only an abbreviated reference is necessary for additional in-text references.
- Footnote or Endnote
Morris H. Morley, Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: State and Regime in US Policy toward Nicaragua 1969-1981 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 5.
- Bibliographic Entry
Morley, Morris H. Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: State and Regime in US Policy toward Nicaragua 1969-1981. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
How to Cite Various Types of Sources
Note that the first entry below is the format for a footnote/endnote, and the second entry is the format for a bibliography. In a footnote/endnote entry, indent the first line; in a bibliography entry, use a “hanging indent” in which the second and subsequent lines are indented.
Also, place parentheses around the publisher’s information in the footnote/endnote, but do not use them in the bibliographic entries.
A work with two or three authors
3.Runoko Rashidi and John G. Jackson, Introduction to African Civilizations (New York: Avon House, 1937), 349.
Rashidi, Runoko and Jackson, John G., Introduction to African Civilizations. New York: Avon House, 1937.
A work with four or more authors
4. Jon Ortner et al., Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer (New York: Abbeville Press, 2002), 57.
Ortner, Jon, et al., Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer. New York: Abbeville Press, 2002.
Edited work with an author
5. Dith Pran, Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors, ed. Kim DePaul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 59.
Pran, Dith. Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors. Edited by Kim DePaul. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
6. Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World. (Chicago: Thorndike Press, 2006), 198.
Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World. Chicago: Thorndike Press, 2006.
Article in a journal paginated by volume
7. Gerald Tulchinsky, “To the 'fabled city': the distinctiveness of the Canadian Jewish experience.” Canadian Jewish News 35 (2005): 2.
Tulchinsky, Gerald. “To the 'fabled city': the distinctiveness of the Canadian Jewish experience.” Canadian Jewish News 35 (2005): 2-4.
Document from a database
8. Richard Cavendish, “Tito elected president of the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia: January 13th, 1953,” History Today 53, no. 1 (2003): 57. Expanded Academic ASAP (17 February 2006).
Cavendish, Richard. “Tito elected president of the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia: January 13th, 1953.” History Today 53, no. 1 (2003): 57. Expanded Academic ASAP (17 February 2006).
(prepared by Leslie Cantu, Writing Coach, Webster University Writing Center)
Modern Language Association (MLA) style is generally used in English courses and some humanities courses. Using citations gives credit to the people whose ideas and words you use in your paper. It also gives guidance for further information to readers who may be intrigued by your paper.
You will need to cite in two places: within the paper (in-text citations) and on a "Works Cited" page. In-text citations are very brief; they include only the author's name and the page number(s). Citations on the "Works Cited" page give full information about the source. The following information comes from Rules for Writers , fifth edition, by Diana Hacker.
In-text citations can be created by using a signal phrase using the author's name and the page number in parenthesis after the information.
Douglas Wiseman notes that researchers must satisfy all basic assumptions before a study begins. They should be sure they have the time, equipment and funding to complete the research (49).
Or the author's name may be included with the page number. Note that the period comes after the page number.
Researchers should ensure that they have the time, equipment and funding to complete the research before they begin their study (Wiseman 49).
Variations on a Theme: If there is no page number (perhaps because the information is from a Web site), just use the author's name. If the author is unknown, substitute a shortened version of the title of the work in parenthesis or the complete title in the signal phrase. If you are using two different works by the same author, include a shortened title in the citation so your reader will be able to differentiate the source. If the work has two or three authors, list each of their last names .
Oliu, Brusaw, and Alred suggest taking a deep breath and holding it for a count of ten or clenching and unclenching your fists to calm yourself before making a public presentation (657).
If there are four or more authors, you can name all the authors or give just the first author's last name followed by "et al." If the author is a corporate author (government agency, foundation, corporation, etc.) use the name of the corporate author in the signal phrase or in parenthesis.
Secondary sources: if an author quotes another writer, and you can't find the primary source, follow this example: (qtd. in Fitzpatrick 128).
Works Cited Page
At the end of your paper, include an alphabetized list of all works cited within your paper. This page should be titled "Works Cited." Works are alphabetized by author; if there is no author, alphabetize by title of the work.
Book with author:
Bradford, Barbara. Angel . New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.
Book with editor:
Maxwell, Martha, ed. When Tutor Meets Student . Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994.
Work in an anthology:
Barnes, Peter. "Auschwitz." Plays of the Holocaust. Ed. Elinor Fuchs. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1987. 105-45.
Article in a magazine:
Millea, Holly. "Look Into My Eyes." Elle Aug. 2003: 118-119.
Article in a daily newspaper:
Lesier, Ken. "Airplanes and Wildlife are Colliding More Often." St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12 Nov. 2003: A7
Article in a journal paginated by volume:
Boivin, Jacky. "A Review of Psychosocial Interventions in Infertility." Social Science and Medicine 57 (2003): 2325-2343.
(Note: this reference includes the volume number (57), but does not need the issue number)
Article in a journal paginated by issue:
Heng, Geraldine. "Cannibalism, the First Crusade, and the Genesis of Medieval Romance." Differences-A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 10.1 (1998): 98-175.
(Note: The volume number is listed first, then a period, then the issue number.)
Works Cited: Online
When documenting online sources follow the same format as printed sources. Also include the date you accessed the information, the date of publication or last update, the name of the Web site and the URL.
Corporate or group author:
Procter & Gamble. Trademark and Facts: Procter & Gamble's Moon and Stars Trademark . 2003. 13 Nov. 2003 <http://www.pg.com/about_pg/overview_facts/trademark_facts.jhtml>
For Additional Guidance
Obviously there are many more variations, in both print and electronic resources. For full documentation guidelines, consult the MLA Handbook, Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker, or visit www.dianahacker.com/rules or http://dianahacker.com/writersref
See also the Citations guides page at the Library Web site at http://library.webster.edu/citation/index.html.