Citation styles provide rules for formatting your citations or references. Although there are many different citation styles, those most commonly used by students at College of DuPage are American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), and Chicago/Turabian. The style you should use is usually determined by the discipline or course in which you are working. Ask your instructor what style is required or recommended.
Citing Sources: Information to Record
Although every citation style is different, there are some standard elements to record:
Title (of book or article and journal)
Publisher or source
Start and end pages (for articles and book chapters)
For electronic sources such as Web pages, you should record this additional information:
The date you accessed the site
The digital object identifier (DOI) if there is one
The URL (Web address) if there is no DOI
As a rule of thumb, these are three basic elements, but this will vary with the type of source:
WHO/WHAT: Identify the element of the source (author or title) which provides the greatest authority and/or secondary credibility. Does the author have credentials? What type of publication is it—newspaper, government report, magazine, journal? (In other words, would everybody know that the Kansas City Star is a newspaper? If not, tell them!)
WHEN: When was the book, magazine, newspaper or journal published (date)? When was the person interviewed? When was the website last updated and/or when did you access the website?