Library:Module 3 Reading Book Citation 3.1

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3.1 Recognizing Different Types of Citations

A bibliographic citation is a reference that points towards a specific source of information. Citations can refer to a wide variety of published or unpublished works, such as books, journal articles, dissertations, and films. A complete citation provides all the pieces of information that you need to track down a source that has been referenced in a paper or been assigned as part of your class readings.

It is important to be able to recognize what citations look like for various types of information sources (e.g. books or journal articles), because you need to use different strategies to locate different kinds of materials. You can identify common types of citations by the information elements that they contain. While some elements are common to most citations (such as the author/creator of the work and the date of publication), other elements provide clues about the kind of information source that is being cited.

Each type of citation can be formatted in different ways, depending on which citation style is being used. The examples below in this guide show both MLA and APA citation styles.


Citation Elements Item Details Sample Citations
Author(s) Jordan, Tim

Taylor, Paul A.

MLA Style:

Jordan, Tim, and Paul A. Taylor. Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels With a Cause? New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.

Title Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels Without a Cause?
Place of Publication New York APA Style:

Jordan, T., & Taylor, P. A. (2004). Hacktivism and cyberwars: Rebels with a cause? New York, NY: Routledge.

Publisher Name Routledge
Year of Publication 2004
Medium of Publication Print

Distinguishing Features

  • Only one title appears in the citation
  • The citation includes the place of publication and the publisher's name

Book Chapters

This type of citation includes all of the elements of a regular book citation, along with a few additional pieces of information. Individual chapters are usually cited when they form part of an edited collection, which contains chapters or essays contributed by several different authors.

Citation Elements Item Details Sample Citations
Author(s) Eco, Umberto MLA Style:

Eco, Umberto. “Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage.” Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. Ed. David Lodge. New York: Longman, 1988. 446-455. Print.

Chapter Title Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage
Book Title Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader
Editor(s) Lodge, David
Place of Publication New York APA Style:

Eco, U. (1988). Casablanca: Cult movies and intertextual collage. In D. Lodge (Ed.), Modern criticism and theory: A reader (pp. 446-455). New York, NY: Longman.

Publisher Name Longman
Year of Publication 1988
Page Numbers 446-455
Medium of Publication Print

Distinguishing Features

  • The citation includes two titles: the title of the individual chapter and the title of the book in which it is published
  • The place of publication and publisher name indicate that the item is part of a book
  • Information about the editor(s) is given (Note that regular book citations can also contain this element, so you need to confirm other features of a book chapter citation)
  • The citation contains the page number range for the chapter