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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  

Citations from a journal/ magazine/ newspaper:

Bader, Barbara. “Multiculturalism Takes Root.” The Horn Book Magazine LXXIX:2 (March/ April 2003): 143-162.  This is the basic pattern: Author last, First.  "Article Title." Magazine Title volume: number (date): page/s.

Clark, Ruth E. Cox, Maureen White, and Nancy Bluemel. “Using International Literature to Enhance the Curriculum.” Teacher Librarian 31:5 (June2004): 12-15. Note: three authors, but only the first named is last name first.

“Labour markets : still flexible.” The Economist 12 March 1994: 53.  Note: the article is unsigned - the author is not known.  The title comes first in this citation, and it comes in alphabetical order in the list.  The in-text citation would read "(Labour...)"

Naidoo, Beverley.  “Beware the poison of stereotyping.” Times Educational Supplement 17 February 2006: 22.

Element Example How does the element help us?
The author/s Bader, Barbara.
Clark, Ruth E. Cox, Maureen White, and Nancy Bluemel.

Naidoo, Beverley.
Last name first (of the first-named author).
Listed in alphabetical order, to make it easy to find the name you are looking for.
The author gets the credit for the words or ideas you have used.
The article title. “Multiculturalism Takes Root.”
“Using International Literature to Enhance the Curriculum.”

“Beware the poison of stereotyping.”
The titles (and any subtitles) are shown inside inverted commas. The title is needed, because many authors have written lots of articles, papers and essays;  you need to know which has been used here.
The article title. “Labour markets : still flexible.” The author of this article was not given.  The article title (in inverted commas) goes into the alphabetical listing; in-text referencing would read "Labour...".
The journal/ magazine. The Horn Book
MagazineTeacher Librarian
The Economist
Times Educational Supplement
The title of the journal or magazine is shown in italics. (Some teachers prefer that titles be underlined. Check with your teacher.)
 
Edition details. LXXIX:2
31:5

We need to know which issue of the journal or magazine; some use volume and issue numbers, some use issue numbers only, some give the date of publication.  Show all the information you can find.
The date. (March/ April 2003)
(June
2004)
12 March 1994
17 February 2006
We need to know which issue of the journal or magazine; some use volume and issue numbers, some use issue numbers only, some give the date of publication.  Show all the information you can find.

The date is often very important: it places the article in a historical context.

The page numbers : 143-162.
: 12-15.
: 53.
: 22.
The page number/s of the articles used help the reader find them easily.

They also indicate the length of the article, and this too may be useful information.

 

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/elementsjournal.html
It was last revised on 10 January 2007.