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How do I Cite My Sources?: Find the Information Needed for a Citation

Where to find information on citing sources in styles including APA, MLA, AMA, and Chicago.

Information Needed for a Citation

Time Saving Tip: Make notes on your sources as you do your research. It makes it easier to cite them later or to find them again if you lose track of them.

Citation styles vary, but most of them require the same basic information when citing a source. The point of citations is not just to prevent plagiarism, but to help someone reading your paper locate your sources. The information in the citation helps them do that.


When citing a book, you usually need:

  • author name(s)
  • book title
  • city of publishing company
  • name of publishing company
  • copyright date

This information appears on the title page or the reverse side of the title page.

the cover and reverse cover page of a book with title, author name, publisher, city and copyright date highlighted

(Use the first city when more than one is listed.)


exclamation point If the chapters each have different authors, you also need the chapter title, chapter author(s), book editor(s), and the pages of the chapter. Use the citation format for a chapter in an edited book instead of a regular book citation.


When citing an article, you usually need:

  • author name(s)
  • article title
  • title, volume, and issue number of the journal it appears in
  • date of publication
  • page numbers (ie, 347 - 355)
  • DOI for electronic versions of articles (when available)

This information can be found either in the database where you originally located the article, or in a PDF of the article itself (usually on the first page of the article or in the margins).

first page of a scholarly article. the journal name, volume, issue, date, page numbers and doi are in the upper left hand corner. article title and author name are in the center of the page.