Skip to main content
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Citing Sources: APA, MLA & Chicago Styles

An Overview of Common Citation Styles

Handouts & guides

Formatting your works cited page

List materials cited in the body of the paper in the “Works Cited” section located at the end of the paper. Organize references alphabetically. Start each entry with a hanging indent, and use double spacing, like this:

Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Random House, 2002.

Gateward, Frances K., and John Jennings, editors. The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art. Rutgers UP, 2015.

If there is no publication date or page numbers, leave it out. Use “U” to abbreviate University and “P” to abbreviate Press. Include all information necessary for someone else to find the same resource.


Formatting author names

Give names in the same order as on the title page. Reverse the name of the first author, i.e., Lastname, Firstname Middleinitial. List a second name in normal form. For sources with 3+ authors, list the first author and et al.

1 author Ward, Jesmyn.
2 authors Smith, Tina M., and Erica Hemming.
3+ authors Wu, Ted, et al.
No author provided Begin the citation with the document title

Your citations might include some, but not all, of the parts of the templates we provide below.

Books

Author’s Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date.

Saunders, George. Pastoralia: Stories. New York, Riverhead Books, 2000.


Ebook

Author’s Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI.

Crank, John P. Understanding Police Culture. Routledge, 2004. ProQuest Ebook Central, ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/johnjay-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1798337.

Citing ebooks:

  • MLA recommends including the URL as part of the location. (If your instructor asks you not to include the URL, then don’t.) Use the permalink option if one is given. Don’t include the http:// as part of the URL.
  • If the source has a DOI, include it instead of the URL.

Edited collection

Editor’s Name, editor. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI. 

Henstock, Shari, editor. The Private Self: Theory of Women’s Autobiographical Writings. U of North Carolina P, 1988.

*This example is for a print book, which would not have a database title or URL/DOI.


Book with translator or other contributors

Author’s Name. Title of Book. Translated by Translator’s Name, Publisher, Publication Date. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI.

Anwar, Raja. The Tragedy of Afghanistan: A First-hand Account. Translated by Khalid Hassan, Verso, 1988.

*This example is for a print book, which would not have a database title or URL/DOI.


Chapter, essay, poem, or short story in an edited book

Author’s Name. “Title of Chapter/Essay/Poem/Short story.” Title of Anthology, edited by Editor’s Name, Publisher, Publication Date, Inclusive Pages. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI.

More, Hannah. “The Black Slave Trade: A Poem.” British Women Poets of the Romantic Era, edited by Paula R. Feldman, Johns Hopkins UP, 1997, pp. 472-82.

*This example is for a print book, which would not have a database title or URL/DOI.

Journal articles

Author’s Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Publication Date, pp. Pages. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI.

Ohsfeldt, Robert L., et al. “Simplifying the Assessment of Rural Emergency Medical Service Trauma Transport.” Medical Care, vol. 34, no. 11, Nov. 1996, pp. 1085–1092. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3766563.

Note:

  • MLA recommends including the URL as part of the location, if it is an online journal article. (If your instructor asks you not to include the URL, then don’t.) Use the permalink option if one is given. Don’t include the http:// as part of the URL.
  • If the source has a DOI, include it instead of the URL.

Newspaper articles

Author’s Name. “Title of Article.” Newspaper Title, Publication Date, Edition, Pages. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI.

Kolata, Gina. “The Results of Your Genetic Test Are Reassuring. But That Can Change.” The New York Times, 16 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/health/genetic-testing-mutations.html. Accessed 30 Dec. 2018.

Online reference work

Reference works include dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Author’s Name. “Article Title.” Encyclopedia/Dictionary Title, edited by Editor Names, vol. Volume Number, Publisher, Publication Date. Title of Database, URL/DOI.

Moskowitz, Gordon B. “Assimilation Processes.” Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, edited by Roy F. Baumeister and Kathleen D. Vohs, vol. 1, SAGE Publications, 2007. Gale Virtual Reference Library, doi:10.4135/9781412956253.n29.

Magazine article

Author’s Name. “Title of Article.” Magazine Title, Publication Date, Pages. Title of Database or Website, URL/DOI.

Tyre, Peg. “Standardized Tests in College?” Newsweek, 16 Nov. 2007, www.newsweek.com/standardized-tests-college-96211.

Website

Author’s Name. “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website, Sponsoring Organization, Publication Date, URL. Accessed Date.

Grush, Loren. “The Launch of Four Rogue Satellites Made Waves in the Spaceflight Industry.” The Verge, 16 Oct. 2018, www.theverge.com/2018/10/16/17979412/rogue-satellites-danger-risk-orbit-space. Accessed 12 Nov 2018.

Citing web sources:

  • If there is no discernible author, begin the citation with the web page title. If you’re citing the entire website (not just a page), cite only the website title. If the organization or publisher is the same as the website title, then only list it once.
  • MLA recommends including the URL as part of the location. (If your instructor asks you not to include the URL, then don’t.) Don’t include the http:// as part of the URL.
  • Include the date of access at the end of the citation if there is no publication date or if you think it would be helpful to your readers.

Online video

Creator’s Name. “Title of Clip.” Host Website, Sponsoring Organization, Publication Date, URL. Accessed Date.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “Orion Soars on First Flight Test.” YouTube, 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEuOpxOrA_0. Accessed 20 Dec. 2018.

Citing a video:

  • If the author’s name is the same as the organization or publisher, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the person who uploaded the video, cite the author’s name before the title.
  • Don’t include the http:// as part of the URL.

Legal sources

Cite the version of the source you consult, including web site information if applicable. Italicize party names of court cases. Some examples:

Court case

United States Supreme Court. Brown v. Board of Education. 17 May 1954. Legal Information Institute, Cornell U Law School, www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/347/483.

Constitution

The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription. National Archives, United States National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018.

For more examples, see the MLA’s “Documenting Legal Works in MLA Style.”

Citing sources in the body

You may incorporate external sources into your paper by quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.

Quoting

When you are quoting directly from a text, cite it by putting the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses. Do not separate the information with a comma. For short quotation (no more than 4 lines), begin and end with double quotation marks. Examples:

The supporters of bilingual education programs “consistently opposed any attempts” to reform it (Rodriguez 151).

According to Gregory Rodriguez, one of the major problems of bilingual education had to do with the fact that “the bilingual education lobbyists were less concerned with making sure it was benefiting the children it served” (151).

Long quotations (more than 4 lines) are in a block with no quotation marks, and indented 0.5” from the left margin. Include the in-text citation at the end of the block.


Paraphrasing and summarizing

Paraphrasing means restating another person’s idea in your own words. Summarizing means using your own words to report the essence of the passage with fewer words than the original source uses. Each paraphrase and summary has to be documented with the author’s last name and page number(s). Put quotation marks for word phrases that you cannot substitute with your own words. Example:

According to Zapf and Jung, criminal responsibility can be evaluated by referring to information from the defendant’s interview and forensic test results (340).


Formatting in-text citations

1 author (Walker 15)
2 authors (Chan and Burr 322)
3+ authors (Davis et al. 1110-18)
No page number (Walker)
No author ("Listen" 122)
Start with the first word of the title, excluding A/An/The
Indirect source Chan indicated ... (qtd. in Atkins and Haller 13)

 

Sample papers

MLA Handbook in print

What is the MLA style?

On their website, the Modern Language Association (MLA) explains what their documentation style is all about:

MLA style is a system for documenting sources in scholarly writing. For over half a century, it has been widely adopted for classroom instruction and used worldwide by scholars, journal publishers, and academic and commercial presses.

Works today are published in a dizzying range of formats. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. MLA style was updated in 2016 to meet the challenges facing today’s researchers. It recommends one universal set of guidelines that writers can apply to any type of source. Entries in the list of works cited are composed of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. Works are cited in the text with brief parenthetical citations keyed to the list of works cited.

More about MLA style:

Video: Elements of an MLA citation

Watch this video for an overview of how an MLA citation is created. Please note that this tutorial is made by Marquette University Library and so the contact information doesn't refer to John Jay.