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Critical Writing Program: Craft of Prose Fall 2021: Understanding a citation

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.

Video

For more information

The material for the pages on the "Using Sources (Citing, Quoting, and Paraphrasing)" tabs is taken from the guide, "Citation Practices and Avoiding Plagiarism: Examples of Paraphrase," developed by Penn Librarians, Katie Rawson and Nicole Santiago.