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Citation Support : Citations

Everything you need to know about how to cite your sources.


A basic MLA in-text citation includes the author's last name and specific page number your information came from. Parenthetical citations come before the final period of a sentence, but after any quotations marks used to indicate a direct quote.

(Lastname #)   e.g.  (Smith 14)


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An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they may describe the author's point of view, authority, or clarity and appropriateness of expression.


Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.


For guidance in critically appraising and analyzing the sources for your bibliography, see How to Critically Analyze Information Sources. For information on the author's background and views, ask at the reference desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials and book review sources.


At NHS we use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Her is a link  from the MLA Guide at the OWL at Purdue. 


This example uses MLA style (MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016) for the journal citation:

Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

Olin Library Reference; Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA

Works Cited Format

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Pro-Tip!Tips for citing websites:

  • Website name should be based on what's on the web page itself (usually in the upper-left corner).
  • Article title is probably the next biggest font on the page after the website name.
    • Do not repeat the article title as the website name.
  • Publisher can often be found in the copyright information at the very bottom of a web page.
    • Or look for a link to an "About" page.
  • Date should not use the copyright date for the whole website at the bottom with the publisher.
    • This isn't necessarily accurate for the individual article you're looking at.

MLA Format Examples of Common ones

These are examples of some of the more common citations, but your citation might vary depending on the information available about your resource. When creating your citation use the list of elements 1-9 above.


Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Bantam Books, 1986.


Manning, Harriet J. Ashgate. Popular and Folk Music Series: Michael Jackson and the
     Blackface Mask
. Routledge, 2016. ProQuest ebrary,
     +jackson+blackface+mask. Accessed 23 June 2016.

Newspaper, print

Perez, Rob. "City Pushes to Keep Its Elevated-Rail Plan." Honolulu Advertiser,18 Jan.
     2010, pp. B1+.

Newspaper, online

Knopper, Steve. “How Hip-Hop Lost its Group Dynamic.” Wall Street Journal - Eastern
, 14 Aug. 2015, pp. D1+. Academic Search Complete,
     108888871&site=ehost-live. Accessed 23 June 2016.

Magazine, print Hitchens, Christopher. "Bring the Pope to Justice." Newsweek, vol. 155, no. 18, 3 May
     2010, pp.42-43.
Magazine, online

Samuels, Allison, et al. “Battle for the Soul of Hip-Hop.” Newsweek, vol. 136, no. 15, 9 Oct.
     2000, pp. 58-65. Academic Search Complete,
     live. Accessed 23 June 2016.

Journal Article, print

Molina, Natalia. "In A Race All Their Own: The Quest to Make Mexicans Ineligible for U.S.
     Citizenship." Pacific Historical Review, vol. 79, no. 2, May 2010, pp. 167-201.

Journal Article, online

Boyer, Holly, and Aimee Graham. “Hip Hop in the United States.” Reference & User
     Services Quarterly
, vol. 55, no. 3, Spring 2016, pp. 215-218. Academic Search
     login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=114060504&site=ehost-live. Accessed 23
     June 2016.

Video, online

Rhyme Pays: Hip-Hop and the Marketing of Cool. Films Media Group, 2004. Films On
, Accessed
     23 June 2016.

Image, online

Micelotta, Frank, photographer. VH1 Hip Hop Honors - Show. Getty Images, 3 Oct. 2004.
     Encycloaedia Britannica ImageQuest.
     _2768747/VH1-Hip-Hop-Honors---Show. Accessed 23 June 2016.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), et al. “CDC: Zika Virus.” Centers for
     Disease Control and Prevention
, 11 Feb. 2016, Accessed 2 Aug.

Note about URLs:
  • remove the http:// before the URL (MLA Handbook 110)
  • include the date you accessed the source since online materials change or can be removed at any time (MLA Handbook 53)

These are examples of some of the more common citations, but your citation might vary depending on the information available about your resource. When creating your citation use the list of elements 1-9 above.

MLA Creating Citations Plus Organizing Your Research



Works Cited Visual Guide

MLA Handbook. Eighth ed., Modern Language Assn., 2016.

MLA & THE OWL at Purdue





Using EasyBib for Citations and within Google Docs