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Citations and Bibliography

Guide to References

In-text Citations and Bibliographies

            References refer the reader to information about the sources you used to prepare your paper. When you quote a person or a publication, or if you describe their ideas, you are using a source that must be identified. If you use someone else’s words or idea and do not give them credit, you are guilty of plagiarism which means stealing someone else’s ideas. Plagiarism is considered scholastic dishonesty, and it is punishable under academic discipline rules. Plagiarism will result in a grade of zero for your paper.

You will use two kinds of references in your paper, citations and a bibliography, and they will appear in two different places in your paper. Sources are briefly identified in the body of the paper; this is called an in-text citation. At the end of your paper, a bibliography provides complete information about your sources. A bibliography is an alphabetical list of the sources used to prepare your paper. References come in several styles. An English class might require a different style of references than a history class. For our purposes, we will use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.


In-text Citations

            When using MLA style, you will briefly identify each of your sources after you write about them in the body of the paper. In parentheses, give the last name of the author followed by the page number, such as (Jones 84). If you do not know the author, use the first words of the title followed by the page number, so you may want to leave that part blank. You will then provide a complete description of the source in your bibliography. The name or title in parenthesis in the body should match the first word or words of the same source in the bibliography so the reader can easily find the complete information for that source in the bibliography.


In-text citation in the body of the paper

Large numbers of fish have been observed around artificial reefs near Oahu and Maui. However, according to studies by Hawaii’s marine biologists, sharks do not seem to be attracted by these artificial reefs (Tanji 24).

In the Bibliography

Tanji, Edwin. “Big Sharks Eschewing Artificial Reefs.” Honolulu Advertiser 1 Nov. 1993: 24.


            Information for your paper can come from many kinds of sources such as books, magazines, videotapes, the Internet, or interviews with fellow humans. Each type seems to require a slightly different bibliography format. It can get complicated. Formats for the most common kinds of sources are given below. If you have a source that does not fit these examples, use your best judgment, or ask your instructor.

Put the word Bibliography at the tip of the bibliography page. Use the same font and type size as you used in the body of your paper. List your sources alphabetically by last name of author (or title if author is unknown). Book titles should appear in italic type or be underlined. Articles are identified by quotation marks. Double space between sources. If a reference requires more than one line, indent the second line and all additional lines. See a sample of a bibliography entry in the example above.



Author. Ttile of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Publication year.

Example, one author:

Brooks, Charles D. Eating Smart. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1982.

Example, two or three authors:

James, Nancy D., and Mary A. Herbert, eds. Bringing Up Baby. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.

Example, corporate or government author:

Colorado Department of Internal Affairs. Policing the Regulators. Denver: Dept. of Business and Economic Development, 1998.

Articles from encyclopedias and reference books


Author of article. “Article Title.” Title of Publication. Publication year.


Lindeman, James J. “Hydrofoils.” Collier’s Encyclopedia. 1996.

Articles from periodicals (magazines or newspapers)

Format: Author. “Title of Article.” Name of Periodical Publication date: Page(s).


Bogart, Humprey. “Just Whistling.” Newsweek 14 Feb. 1954: 28.

“Shop till you Drop.” Consumer Age. Jan. 1999: 12-14.

Bekins, Jane. “Terrorism Strikes the City.” New York Times 14 Feb. 1984: A10.



Person Interviewed. Type of interview (In person, Telephone, Online, Email, etc.). Date.


Gore, Albert. Telephone interview. 2 Jan. 1997.

Internet – World Wide Web

NOTE: Be very careful with Internet sources; many are not reliable. For the purposes of this paper, an Internet source is not considered reliable without an author and page publisher (except with permission of the instructor). If you use a source from the Internet that was originally published in a magazine or newspaper, this will NOT be considered a Web source. Use the format appropriate to the original publication.


Author/editor (if known) “Title of Web Page.” Revision or copyright date (if available). Online. Page Publisher. URL (Internet address). Access date.

Example: Guffey, Dr. Mary Ellen. “MLA Style Electronic formats.” 6 Feb. 1997. Online. Mary Ellen Guffey’s Communications Resources. http://www.westwords.com/guffey/sections.html. 5 March 1997.

Online Research Service


Author (if known). “Title of Material Accessed.” Title of Publication. Date of material (if known). Online. Name of Research Service such as ProQuest Direct or Ebscohost. Access date.


“Oldfield, Barney, “Stock Market Crash of 1929.” Compton’s Encyclopedia. 1995. Online. Electric Library. 5 March 2000.

Best, Grace and Herman Hankins. “Aiming High.” Journal of Aviation Jan. 1996. Online. ProQuest Direct. 5 March 1999.



Author (if known). “Title of Material Accessed.” Title of Publication (if various publications are on disc) Date of material (if known). Title of CD ROM. CD ROM. Publisher. Publication date.


Greer, James. “Relying on the employee.” Tavern Management Journal. June 1994. Principals of Tavern Management Ondisc. CD-ROM. American Society of Tavern Management. 1999.



Title. Videocassette. Author. Director. Publisher. Publication year.


Eating at Rachel’s. Videocassette. Writer and narrator Farley Forsythe. Director John Riser. Mindgate Productions. 1995.




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