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Writing Tools and Citation Guides

Roosevelt University Writing Center

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Introduction to the Basics of Citation

In order to use any of the citation methods listed in the tabs on this guide, you first need to be able to identify the pieces of information that go into a citation. This differs slightly depending on they type of item you are citing, for example a book, journal, web site, encyclopedia article, etc, but the citation styles require most of the same information for each type of source. This portion of the guide will help you become familiar with the information you'll need and offers some tips to find that information for various sources.



Information you'll need: Author(s), title, publisher, date of publication, place of publication, page numbers you're citing.

Where to find the information: The title page and the reverse side of the title page.


Journal articles:

Information you'll need: author(s), article title, title of the journal the article was published in, date of publication, volume of journal, issue or number of the journal, pages the article appears in the journal, where you accessed the article.


How to recognize this information: Journals are more complicated than books and finding and identifying the information you need can be confusing. Here are some of the forms that you might see an entry for a journal in one of our databases. The parts you'll need for your citations are color coded as a set them out above.

Example 1:

Title: Clinical Epidemiology and In-Patient Hospital Use in the Last Year of Life (1990–2005) of 29,884 Western Australians with Dementia.

Authors: Zilkens, Renate R.

Spilsbury, Katrina

Bruce, David G.2

Semmensa, James B.

Source: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease; 2010, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p399-407, 12p, 4 charts


Example 2:

Alien-Nation: Zombies, Immigrants, and Millennial Capitalism

Comaroff, Jean.

Comaroff, John L., 1945-

The South Atlantic Quarterly, Volume 101, Number 4, Fall 2002, pp. 779-805 (Article)


As for where you accessed the article, depending on the style of citation you use, you might need to note whether you accessed the article in print or online, supply the url of the web site where you accessed the article, or the name of the database you used to access the article.


Web Sites:

Information you'll need for most citation styles: author; name of site; version number; name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher); date created; date you accessed the site; title of document.

Not all of this information will be available for each site, but it is important to look at the web site's home page and the page with the information you are citing. Another place to look is for a portion of the site named "About Us" or "About this site." Even if the information is not available, it is important to search the site to find as much of this information as possible to put into your citation.