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EMPOWER: Citing Sources: Citation Styles

Parts of a Citation

As you do your research, keep a list of your sources--books, periodicals, and websites. Below is the type of information you need to write down from a citation with each of its important parts labeled:

For a Book:

author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication


For an Article in a Periodical:

author, title of article, title of journal, volume, issue, page number, date


For a Source from the Web:

author, title of web page, date viewed, URL

Citation Styles

There are a number of different styles or formats for citations. Which style you use depends upon the subject discipline you are working in. If you are uncertain about which style to use, ask your professor.

Below are some commonly used writing style guides:

All styles include the same basic parts of a citation, but each has its own rules with requirements, punctuation, etc. Two examples:

  • When you are citing a website, APA requires the website URL but not the date accessed, MLA requires the date accessed but not the URL.
  • When you are paraphrasing, MLA style requires the author's name and page numbers in the in-text citations, but APA style requires the author's name and publication year.

Our website has quick guides to writing citations in various styles.