Figuring out Citation Source Types

There are reasons behind all the rules we follow when citing sources. When written according to the rules, citations let us figure out exactly what sources were used. Knowing the rules helps us locate those sources, as well as evaluate works based on the source types the writers used.

Citation rules almost always require that the author(s) and publication date are included. The rules also dictate that we include other information that helps readers figure out what the cited item is.

Therefore, each citation will include specific information that helps us figure out what it is. Below are examples of what to look for in citations for four source types: periodical articles, books, essays or chapters in books, and dissertations.

Put your cursor over the purple segments in each citation to get information about how they help us determine source types.