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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Finding and Using Resources -> Module 10 : -> Citation formats

How to Cite Your Sources

To cite something means, basically, to tell where it is or where you found it. You need to give enough information that someone else could find the exact same item again. "In the library" or "on the web" or "in Scientific American about six months ago" isn't enough. Over the centuries, scholars have decided what specific information is needed to cite different kinds of sources. In the last few years, new forms and formats of information have been created on the internet, and new citation rules have been developed for email, electronic full-text, webpages, etc.

A citation includes the information, or citation elements, needed to identify a source so that it can be found again. Different kinds of publications have different citation elements. Following are the citation elements you need for some of the most frequently cited types of publications and examples of how you would cite them in a bibliography:

Citations follow standardized rules for arranging the citation elements. Style manuals are books that explain the rules for citations. Most disciplines have a preferred style manual. You may have been told which style manual to use. If not, ask your instructor. The Architecture Studies Library has Turabian's: A Manual for Writers, the MLA Handbook, and the Chicago Manual of Style. The first three examples below use the rules in The Chicago Manual of Style and the MLA Style Manual, which are the same for the bibliographic format of books and articles.

The format is slightly different for the citation of a web page, so both formats are given. (book -- print journal -- electronic journal -- webpage)

For a book, the citation elements you need are: author's name (there may be more than one); title of the book; publisher's name; place the book was published; and date of publication or copyright. If there is an edition statement (2nd edition, for example) or a series title, you need those, too.


Nieto, Sonia. Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education.
2nd ed. White Plains, NY: Longman Publishers, 1996.

For a print journal article, the citation elements you need are: author's name (there may be more than one); title of the article; title of the journal; volume number; issue number or date if there is one; publication date; and page numbers of the article.


McDowell, Andrea G. "Daily Life in Ancient Egypt." Scientific American 275 (December 1966): 100-105.

For an electronic full-text version of a print journal article, the citation elements you need are the same as for a print journal article, plus the access path or database name; the library which subscribes to the full text; and the date you accessed, printed, or downloaded the article. Note: Page numbers of the article may not be available in the electronic format.


Cockburn, Alexander. "The Headwaters Deal". The Nation 268(1999):90-98. Available: Academic Search Elite. University of Nevada, Las Vegas. April 17, 1999.

Here is an Example of a JSTOR citation, in MLA style, specifically cited in a format for the UNLV AAD 201 class:

Mitrovic, Branko. "Palladio's Theory of the Classical Orders in the First Book of I Quattro Libri Dell' Architettura." Architectural History 42 (1999): 110-140. JSTOR. 11 October 2006. <>.

For a webpage, the citation elements you need are: author's name; title or description of the page; page date; the URL;
the date you accessed, printed, or downloaded the information.

MLA Style Manual


Library of Congress. "American Memory: The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project 1935-1939." 1999. 23 August 2000. <>

Chicago Manual of Style


Library of Congress. "American Memory: The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project 1935-1939." 1999. <> (23 August 2000)

General Purpose Style Manuals

  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations LB2369 .T8 1996
  • Campbell, William Giles. Form and Style: Theses, Reports, Term Papers
  • Garner, Diane L. The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Sources: A Manual for Writers and Librarians Z7164.G7 G37 1993
  • Shields and Uhle. Where Credit is Due: A Guide to Proper Citing of Sources - Print and Nonprint PN171.F56 S35 1997

Arts & Humanities

Social Sciences, Business, Medicine

Sciences, Natural Resources

Here are two style manuals for citing electronic or Web-based sources

If you are citing electronic or web-based sources, you may find that the printed style manuals don't have enough information to guide you. The link below takes you to a list of online style manuals that will help.

Style Guides

Questions? Ask the Architecture Studies Librarian online or any of the staff in the Architecture Studies Library. The general phone number for the library is 702-895-1959.

If you have comments about the usefulness of this module and/or how it can be improved, please contact Jeanne Brown, Architecture Studies Librarian, at

© 2000 Humboldt State University Library - Modified and used with permission


Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:31 PST