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Critical Writing Program: Craft Of Prose - Spring 2021 : All about Citations

Elements of a Citation

A source's citation includes the information necessary to identify and retrieve that source, including but not limited to:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

The type of source being cited (books, journals, interviews, blogs, videos, social media, etc.) and the citation style being used will determine what the citation looks like. Choose an appropriate style guide for your needs.  Here is an example of an article citation using four different citation styles:

Author - Erik Stokstad

Article Title - Can a Dire Ecological Warning Lead to Action?

Source Title - Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

Volume and Issue - Vol. 364, No. 6440

Publication Date - 2019

Page Numbers - 517-518

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or URL- 10.1126/science.364.6440.517

Modern Language Association (MLA) style:

Stokstad, Erik. "Can a Dire Ecological Warning Lead to Action?" Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science), vol. 364, no. 6440, 2019, pp. 517-518.

American Psychological Association (APA) style:

Stokstad, E. (2019). Can a dire ecological warning lead to action? Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science), 364(6440), 517-518. doi:10.1126/science.364.6440.517

Chicago/Turabian style:

Stokstad, Erik. 2019. "Can a Dire Ecological Warning Lead to Action?" Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 364 (6440): 517-518.

American Medical Association (AMA) style:

Stokstad E. Can a dire ecological warning lead to action? Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science). 2019;364:517-518.

Using Citations to Find Articles

If you have a complete article citation, search Franklin from the Penn Libraries homepage to find the full text of your article.

 

On the next page, click Articles+ to limit your search results to articles. 

No luck? That doesn't mean we don't have access to the article - it could be available in print! Try searching the Catalog for the journal name as a next step.

Select Catalog and search using the journal name. If the library owns the journal, click on the journal name and confirm that they have the proper issue/volume/date by examining the item record page. If they do, you can request a scan of the article by selecting Digital Delivery (under locations where the journal is held). 

Using Citations to Find Books

If your citation is a book, you will search Franklin from the Penn Libraries homepage

Franklin will help you find the library in which the book is located, and the call number. You can search for a specific book by title, author, or ISBN. You can also do a keyword or subject keyword search to find books on a particular topic.

Library homepage Franklin search box

 

On the next page, click Catalog to limit your search results to eBooks, books, and other print material. 

Franklin results page with cursor on "catalog"

Other important resources for finding books: