Citing Sources in Your Papers | St. Lawrence University WORD Studio

Citing Sources in Your Papers

CITING SOURCE MATERIAL

“River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand. The twenty-one commercial rafting companies who boat the river fill their trips a year in advance at prices ranging from $700 to $1200.”Author: Roderick Frazier Nash

Bibliographic Information
Book Title: Wilderness and the American Mind, 4th edition
Publisher: Yale University Press
Place of Publication: New Haven, CT
Year: 2001
Page where quotation appeared: 330

When using source material in your own writing, you must cite all direct quotations
“River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand.”

partial quotations
These companies “fill their trips a year in advance.

paraphrases
Dozens of commercial outfitters charge up to $1200 for these rafting trips but still sell out a year ahead of time.

statistics, dates, figures
Some outfitters charge up to $1200 for the chance to travel the Colorado.
*Note that you need not put quotation marks around numbers or figures used outside of a quotation.

Choose a citation method (APA, MLA, or Chicago) that best fits the expectations of the discipline you’re writing in.

1. A COMPARISON OF APA and MLA STYLES:

For both APA and MLA citations, the important bibliographic information appears in parentheses directly after the quoted or paraphrased material: in MLA style, include the author’s last name and page number; in APA, the author’s name, year of publication, and (usually) page number.

These companies “fill their trips a year in advance” (Nash 330) and have no trouble filling all available openings. MLA
Some wilderness areas are particularly stressed by tourism: “River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand” (Nash, 2001, p. 330). APA

Dozens of commercial outfitters charge up to $1200 for these rafting trips but still sell out a year ahead of time (Nash 330). MLA

In both APA and MLA, if the author’s name appears in the text of your sentence, it does not need to appear in the parenthetical citation:

According to Nash (2001), “River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand” (p. 330). APA

Roderick Frazier Nash discovered that some outfitters charge up to $1200 for the chance to travel the Colorado (330). MLA

When using a full quotation, always introduce it in some way, whether with a “signal phrase” (the author’s name and an appropriate verb) or with a comment on the significance of the quotation:

Roderick Frazier Nash writes: “River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand” (330). MLA

Nash (2001) noted that “[r]iver running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand” (p. 330). APA

Some wilderness areas are particularly stressed by tourism: “River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand” (Nash 330). MLA

2. A BRIEF LOOK AT CHICAGO STYLE:

Unlike MLA or APA citation styles, which call for parenthetical citations, Chicago style calls for footnotes or endnotes.

Put a superscript number in your text corresponding to the number of the note; place the citation information at the bottom of the page (for footnotes) or together on an endnotes page:

Some wilderness areas are particularly stressed by tourism: “River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand.”1

When you cite any source for the second, third, etc. time, you need only the author's last name and the number of the page or pages cited.

According to Nash, “River running on the Colorado through Grand Canyon National Park is even more in demand.”2

1 Roderick Frazier Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 330.
2 Nash, 330.

3. COMPILING YOUR SOURCES

All sources that you cite parenthetically must appear at the end of your paper in your Works Cited page (MLA), References page (APA), or Bibliography page (Chicago).

MLA
Nash, Roderick Frazier. Wilderness and the American Mind, 4th ed. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001.

APA
Nash, R.F. (2001). Wilderness and the American mind (4th ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press.

CHICAGO
Nash, Roderick Frazier. Wilderness and the American Mind, 4th ed. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001.

There are many special cases for both citations and bibliographic entries:
a work with two or more authors
two works by the same author
a work without an author given
government documents
websites
interviews
films
listserv postings
maps or charts

To solve sticky citation problems, you can:

  • Consult Diana Hacker’s Pocket Guide
  • Consult the MLA, APA, or Chicago style manuals (available in the library and in the WORD Studio)
  • Send an Instant Message to a tutor on duty: SLUword
  • Visit the WORD Studio in ODY
  • Visit the Science Writing Center