After completing this module, you will be able to:
You will apply and learn about information literacy competencies while completing this learning module.
What are Citations and Citation Styles?
In Lesson 2, we learned about Using Information Ethically (defining and avoiding plagiarism). When we use a writer’s ideas and data, we must give him/her credit by providing citations to their work (the books, database articles, website, etc, we used as our sources). Creating and listing citations is how we give credit to the author and acknowledge their ideas and work. In MLA, the list of citations is called the Works Cited page and in APA the References page. These are the last pages or slides of your paper/project and allow the reader (your professor) to review the quality of your sources and to refer to your sources as needed.
There are many other citation styles too! Chicago/Turabian is used for History, IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is used or engineering, computer science, and information technology, AAA (American Anthropological Association)...you get the idea.
APA: American Psychological Association, used for Social Sciences: Psychology, Sociology, Health and Nursing, Business, and other Social Science subject areas.
Reference citations are designed to provide enough information to your reader to be able to find and access the sources you've cited. In general, APA style Reference citations include as much of the following information as possible: author's name, publication date, title of the source, pagination information, and URL or DOI. The information you include, the order, and the punctuation depends on the style guide you are using and the kind of source (book, eBook, website, journal article, online journal article, journal article from a database, DVD, etc.). Please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the MLA Handbook to see complete details for each kind of source.
In general, MLA style Works Cited citations include as much of the following information as possible: author's name, title of source, title of container, other contributors, version/edition, volume and issue, publisher, publication date, and URL or DOI.
MLA 8th Edition uses "containers" to note the elements of the citation. For example, here is how MLA uses the containers to create a citation for a video on a website.
Two-Part Citation System
APA and MLA styles are both two-part citation systems. A complete citation includes an in-text citation within the body of the paper and a reference or end citation at the end of the paper.
Students’ ability to trust their teachers greatly impacts their learning (Davis, 2004).
Davis, K. S., & Dupper, D. R. (2004). Student-teacher relationships: An overlooked factor in school dropout. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 9(1/2), 179-194. doi:10.1300/J137v9n01_12
For every reference citation in your bibliography, you MUST have at least one corresponding in-text citation.
There are two common ways to construct in-text citations.
Behavior analysis is necessary for society because "almost all major problems involve human behavior" (Skinner 24). [MLA Example]
According to B.F. Skinner, behavior analysis is necessary for society because "almost all major problems involve human behavior" (24). [MLA Example]
Both styles include formatting rules for your paper or annotated bibliography. This includes page margins, page numbering, font, line spacing, titles, headings, and more. For both, the entries in the bibliography are listed in alphabetical order, are double-spaced, and have a hanging indent.
The rules for each style are outlined in detail in the respective manuals. They are also outlined in detail in the Miami Dade College Libraries LibGuides for each style (APA | MLA). You are not expected to memorize these details for the style you are using. However, you are expected to submit an annotated bibliography which adheres to these style rules.
Additional MLA Citation Resources
In this module, you have learned how to: