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Anatomy of a Citation


What is a citation?

  • A well-constructed citation presents all of the information needed to identify or locate a specific resource (article, book, book chapter, video, etc.)
  • Citations are found in print indexes, online databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, etc.), and bibliographies
  • Journal articles, books, and other types of resources typically include lists of citations to facilitate access to content that has been quoted or referenced in the text


What's in a citation?

  • The specific elements included in a citation will vary depending upon the type of material being cited
  • The examples included in this guide identify citation elements for three of the most common resource types: journal articles, books, and book chapters


Why don't all citations look the same?

  • There are many different citation styles based on the style manual or guide that is being followed
  • Find out more about frequently used citation styles in our Citation Styles LibGuide