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The Elements of a Citation (MLA style)

How does each piece of information help us?

introduction

from a book from a journal / magazine / newspaper from a website from an online journal
   

putting it all together

more citation tips  

One reason for citing sources is to allow the interested reader to follow up, to track down the sources you used:

the reader who is startled by what you say and wants to see if it is true;
the reader who does not believe what you say and wants to know why you said it;
the reader who is genuinely interested in what you say and who wants to know more.

Each element of the citation adds a bit of information, to help the reader be sure s/he has the same source you used.

The in-text citation gives brief information about the source (including the page number if there is one).  More information will be found in the list of Works Cited, enough to identify the source and help the reader know it is exactly the same as the source you used.

This series shows why each piece of information is included.  Examples are given for citations:

introduction

from a book from a journal / magazine / newspaper from a website from an online journal
   

putting it all together

more citation tips  
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John Royce, BA, MLib, MCLIP
Library Director, Robert College
Arnavutköy, TR-34345 Istanbul, Turkey.

The URL of this page is http://www.read2live.com/elements.html
It was last revised on 10 January 2007.