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Parts of a Citation


  • Identify parts of a citation
  • ‚ÄčIdentify the differences between a book, chapter of a book, and an article from a journal.

More than just something for your References page

Citations can help you do more than just be an entry on a References page of a paper.  They can also help you find more sources for you to use.  In order to do that, it helps to know what the different parts of the citation are.  It also helps to know that different resources have varying types of information in their citations.

How does knowing what type of source a citation is representing help you?  Let's say you were looking at the bibliography of an article to find more resources and this citation looked interesting to you:

Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne, R. (2005). Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Harvard Business Review Press.

From the information here, we can see this is a book.  Why is that important? Recognizing what format the information was published in can help with:

  • Knowing what search tools or databases to use to find a full-text copy.
  • Evaluating the source for things like currency (i.e., how recently it was published) and the authority of the authors. 
  • Knowing if you even want to find a book for this particular assignment. Is a book the right source for your information need, or do you need to find peer reviewed research articles? Do you need to read the whole book or just a chapter? Do you have time to read it? 

This guide will help you recognize a couple of different types of citations.