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Citation Examples | Books, Articles, Websites & More

Published on April 9, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 17, 2024.

The most common citation styles are APA and MLA . To cite a source in these styles, you need a brief in-text citation and a full reference.

Use the interactive tool to understand how a citation is structured and see examples for common source types .

As well as switching between styles and sources, you can explore how a citation looks when there are multiple authors, different editions, no publication date, and other common scenarios.

If you’re still not sure how to cite your source correctly, dive into our comprehensive articles. For each source type, we provide a range of examples in APA , MLA , and Chicago style .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2024, January 17). Citation Examples | Books, Articles, Websites & More. Scribbr. Retrieved April 9, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/citation-example/

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A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 15 September 2023.

Referencing is an important part of academic writing. It tells your readers what sources you’ve used and how to find them.

Harvard is the most common referencing style used in UK universities. In Harvard style, the author and year are cited in-text, and full details of the source are given in a reference list .

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Table of contents

Harvard in-text citation, creating a harvard reference list, harvard referencing examples, referencing sources with no author or date, frequently asked questions about harvard referencing.

A Harvard in-text citation appears in brackets beside any quotation or paraphrase of a source. It gives the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication, as well as a page number or range locating the passage referenced, if applicable:

Note that ‘p.’ is used for a single page, ‘pp.’ for multiple pages (e.g. ‘pp. 1–5’).

An in-text citation usually appears immediately after the quotation or paraphrase in question. It may also appear at the end of the relevant sentence, as long as it’s clear what it refers to.

When your sentence already mentions the name of the author, it should not be repeated in the citation:

Sources with multiple authors

When you cite a source with up to three authors, cite all authors’ names. For four or more authors, list only the first name, followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Sources with no page numbers

Some sources, such as websites , often don’t have page numbers. If the source is a short text, you can simply leave out the page number. With longer sources, you can use an alternate locator such as a subheading or paragraph number if you need to specify where to find the quote:

Multiple citations at the same point

When you need multiple citations to appear at the same point in your text – for example, when you refer to several sources with one phrase – you can present them in the same set of brackets, separated by semicolons. List them in order of publication date:

Multiple sources with the same author and date

If you cite multiple sources by the same author which were published in the same year, it’s important to distinguish between them in your citations. To do this, insert an ‘a’ after the year in the first one you reference, a ‘b’ in the second, and so on:

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A bibliography or reference list appears at the end of your text. It lists all your sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, giving complete information so that the reader can look them up if necessary.

The reference entry starts with the author’s last name followed by initial(s). Only the first word of the title is capitalised (as well as any proper nouns).

Harvard reference list example

Sources with multiple authors in the reference list

As with in-text citations, up to three authors should be listed; when there are four or more, list only the first author followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Reference list entries vary according to source type, since different information is relevant for different sources. Formats and examples for the most commonly used source types are given below.

  • Entire book
  • Book chapter
  • Translated book
  • Edition of a book

Journal articles

  • Print journal
  • Online-only journal with DOI
  • Online-only journal with no DOI
  • General web page
  • Online article or blog
  • Social media post

Sometimes you won’t have all the information you need for a reference. This section covers what to do when a source lacks a publication date or named author.

No publication date

When a source doesn’t have a clear publication date – for example, a constantly updated reference source like Wikipedia or an obscure historical document which can’t be accurately dated – you can replace it with the words ‘no date’:

Note that when you do this with an online source, you should still include an access date, as in the example.

When a source lacks a clearly identified author, there’s often an appropriate corporate source – the organisation responsible for the source – whom you can credit as author instead, as in the Google and Wikipedia examples above.

When that’s not the case, you can just replace it with the title of the source in both the in-text citation and the reference list:

Harvard referencing uses an author–date system. Sources are cited by the author’s last name and the publication year in brackets. Each Harvard in-text citation corresponds to an entry in the alphabetised reference list at the end of the paper.

Vancouver referencing uses a numerical system. Sources are cited by a number in parentheses or superscript. Each number corresponds to a full reference at the end of the paper.

A Harvard in-text citation should appear in brackets every time you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source.

The citation can appear immediately after the quotation or paraphrase, or at the end of the sentence. If you’re quoting, place the citation outside of the quotation marks but before any other punctuation like a comma or full stop.

In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘ et al. ’

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning:

  • A reference list only includes sources cited in the text – every entry corresponds to an in-text citation .
  • A bibliography also includes other sources which were consulted during the research but not cited.

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, September 15). A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 9 April 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/referencing/harvard-style/

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bibliography citations examples

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Bibliography Examples for Students

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You’ve finished writing your essay. Now, it’s time to make an alphabetized list of all the books, periodicals and websites you used. Some writing styles call this list the bibliography. Since a bibliography example can speak louder than words, get a sample of bibliographies in MLA, APA and Chicago styles. Then, learn about the different types of bibliographies available that you may need to use.

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Bibliography Examples In MLA, APA and Chicago

When it comes to examples of bibliographies, it can get confusing. This is because the word “bibliography” can have a double meaning when it comes to writing styles.

“Bibliography” can be a catch-all word to mean all source lists in all writing styles. It is also the title of the  Chicago/Turabian end citation. However,    MLA style  and APA style  don’t technically have bibliographies; instead, they have reference lists. The difference breaks down like this:

  • A bibliography lists all the references used to create a piece of writing. This includes everything you used in the creation of the work, even if you didn’t cite it in the body of the writing itself. This can include, but isn’t limited to, background sources.
  • A reference list only contains the sources cited directly in the body of the paper or essay. These are actual quotes and ideas that were used by other writers or materials.

Now that you know the terminology, it’s time to explore a sample of bibliographies, reference lists and works cited lists.

Student creating a Chicago author date reference style bibliography

MLA Works Cited Example

Designed for high school and college students,  MLA formatting makes citing websites, advertisements, blogs, books, and other sources easy for students. It uses an author-page in-text citation style and a works cited page. Use this MLA sample of a bibliography to see how to create a works cited page.

MLA works cited example

APA Reference List Example

When you are creating a technical paper in psychology, biology or chemistry, you’ll use  APA style . The American Psychological Association (APA) designed this style for formatting citations for journals, books, technical manuals and other large technical sources. In the text, you’ll use author-date style citations.

The source list at the end of the paper is called References. Since the author and date are typically one of the first things listed in the reference sheet, it’s easy to find citations on the reference list. Check out the APA bibliography example to see the correct formatting.

APA reference page sample

Chicago or Turabian Bibliography Example

Turabian is another format students may use at the college, and sometimes, high school level. It is the student version of the Chicago Manual of Style . This professional style can use an author-date citation style with a reference page , or it can use notes and a bibliography . The type that you use is dependent on you or your instructor.

Turabian is a diverse style that can work well for fiction and nonfiction sources. You might use it in arts, history, philosophy, and religion, among other subjects. Set up your bibliography with ease by checking out the  Chicago style example of a bibliography in author-date style here.

chicago turabian author-date bibliography example

Annotated Bibliography Example

To round out this sample of bibliographies, there’s one more type of reference list you may need to create as part of your studies.

In addition to the end citation bibliography, you can create an annotated bibliography. This can be an  MLA annotated bibliography or  you may opt for Chicago style annotation. An annotated bibliography adds a summative (informative) or evaluative annotation for each bibliography entry, providing more information for the reader about the sources you used to write your paper.

example annotated bibliography chicago format

Perfect Bibliography Formatting

Whenever you’re in doubt, refer back to this sample of bibliography examples to ensure your formatting is perfect, regardless of the citation style you’re following for your paper. Remember that you should focus on  finding credible sources , as not all sources of information are equally reliable and accurate. 

Creating a School Project in APA Style

Preparing to Write MLA College Papers

Entries to Include in Chicago/Turabian Author-Date Style

FAQ Bibliography Examples for Students

How do you write a bibliography for a school project.

When writing a bibliography for a school project, you'll need to know the publication, author, corporation, title, publication date, publication company, volume, and URL to compose your citations. Depending on the manual of style you're using, the way you create your citations varies. For example, the Modern Language Association (MLA) has a specific way they set up their bibliography that is different from the American Psychological Association (APA). However, with all styles, your citations are listed on your bibliography in alphabetical order.

How do you write a bibliography example?

The way you would write a bibliography example varies based on the style guide you are using. For example, in MLA 8, the citation for the book "The Hunger Games" looks like: Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic, 2012. However, in APA 7, the citation for "The Hunger Games" looks like: Collins, S. (2012). The hunger games. Scholastic.

What does a bibliography look like?

Depending on the style guide you are using, bibliographies can look different. In general, bibliographies have the page number, title, and all the works you used in alphabetical order. Annotated bibliographies also include a short summary of the text.

How do you write a bibliography for a website?

To create a citation of a website on a bibliography, you need the name of the article, author (if available), published or posted date, and URL or DOI. For example, this page in MLA style is cited as: Betts, Jennifer. “Bibliography Examples for Students.” Bibliography.com, 9 Jan. 2019, https://www.bibliography.com/how-to/bibliography-examples-for-students/.

What is a bibliography page example?

A bibliography page example provides you with an overview of what bibliographies should look like in MLA, APA, and Chicago format. Bibliographies are found at the end of a paper and include an alphabetical list of the sources used to compose your research, statements, arguments, etc.

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How to Find Credible Sources for School Essays

How to make a citation in mla, apa, and chicago/turabian, understanding primary and secondary sources, preliminary bibliography examples.

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How To Write a Bibliography (Three Styles, Plus Examples)

Give credit where credit is due.

Text that says Bibliography Writing Guide with WeAreTeachers logo on dark gray background as a tool to help students understand how to write a bibliography

Writing a research paper involves a lot of work. Students need to consult a variety of sources to gather reliable information and ensure their points are well supported. Research papers include a bibliography, which can be a little tricky for students. Learn how to write a bibliography in multiple styles and find basic examples below.

IMPORTANT: Each style guide has its own very specific rules, and they often conflict with one another. Additionally, each type of reference material has many possible formats, depending on a variety of factors. The overviews shown here are meant to guide students in writing basic bibliographies, but this information is by no means complete. Students should always refer directly to the preferred style guide to ensure they’re using the most up-to-date formats and styles.

What is a bibliography?

When you’re researching a paper, you’ll likely consult a wide variety of sources. You may quote some of these directly in your work, summarize some of the points they make, or simply use them to further the knowledge you need to write your paper. Since these ideas are not your own, it’s vital to give credit to the authors who originally wrote them. This list of sources, organized alphabetically, is called a bibliography.

A bibliography should include all the materials you consulted in your research, even if you don’t quote directly from them in your paper. These resources could include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Books and e-books
  • Periodicals like magazines or newspapers
  • Online articles or websites
  • Primary source documents like letters or official records

Bibliography vs. References

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. As noted above, a bibliography includes all the materials you used while researching your paper, whether or not you quote from them or refer to them directly in your writing.

A list of references only includes the materials you cite throughout your work. You might use direct quotes or summarize the information for the reader. Either way, you must ensure you give credit to the original author or document. This section can be titled “List of Works Cited” or simply “References.”

Your teacher may specify whether you should include a bibliography or a reference list. If they don’t, consider choosing a bibliography, to show all the works you used in researching your paper. This can help the reader see that your points are well supported, and allow them to do further reading on their own if they’re interested.

Bibliography vs. Citations

Citations refer to direct quotations from a text, woven into your own writing. There are a variety of ways to write citations, including footnotes and endnotes. These are generally shorter than the entries in a reference list or bibliography. Learn more about writing citations here.

What does a bibliography entry include?

Depending on the reference material, bibliography entries include a variety of information intended to help a reader locate the material if they want to refer to it themselves. These entries are listed in alphabetical order, and may include:

  • Author/s or creator/s
  • Publication date
  • Volume and issue numbers
  • Publisher and publication city
  • Website URL

These entries don’t generally need to include specific page numbers or locations within the work (except for print magazine or journal articles). That type of information is usually only needed in a footnote or endnote citation.

What are the different bibliography styles?

In most cases, writers use one of three major style guides: APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), or The Chicago Manual of Style . There are many others as well, but these three are the most common choices for K–12 students.

Many teachers will state their preference for one style guide over another. If they don’t, you can choose your own preferred style. However, you should also use that guide for your entire paper, following their recommendations for punctuation, grammar, and more. This will ensure you are consistent throughout.

Below, you’ll learn how to write a simple bibliography using each of the three major style guides. We’ve included details for books and e-books, periodicals, and electronic sources like websites and videos. If the reference material type you need to include isn’t shown here, refer directly to the style guide you’re using.

APA Style Bibliography and Examples

APA style example of a References bibliography page

Source: Verywell Mind

Technically, APA style calls for a list of references instead of a bibliography. If your teacher requires you to use the APA style guide , you can limit your reference list only to items you cite throughout your work.

How To Write a Bibliography (References) Using APA Style

Here are some general notes on writing an APA reference list:

  • Title your bibliography section “References” and center the title on the top line of the page.
  • Do not center your references; they should be left-aligned. For longer items, subsequent lines should use a hanging indent of 1/2 inch.
  • Include all types of resources in the same list.
  • Alphabetize your list by author or creator, last name first.
  • Do not spell out the author/creator’s first or middle name; only use their initials.
  • If there are multiple authors/creators, use an ampersand (&) before the final author/creator.
  • Place the date in parentheses.
  • Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle, unless the word would otherwise be capitalized (proper names, etc.).
  • Italicize the titles of books, periodicals, or videos.
  • For websites, include the full site information, including the http:// or https:// at the beginning.

Books and E-Books APA Bibliography Examples

For books, APA reference list entries use this format (only include the publisher’s website for e-books).

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Publication date). Title with only first word capitalized . Publisher. Publisher’s website

  • Wynn, S. (2020). City of London at war 1939–45 . Pen & Sword Military. https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/City-of-London-at-War-193945-Paperback/p/17299

Periodical APA Bibliography Examples

For journal or magazine articles, use this format. If you viewed the article online, include the URL at the end of the citation.

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Publication date). Title of article. Magazine or Journal Title (Volume number) Issue number, page numbers. URL

  • Bell, A. (2009). Landscapes of fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945. Journal of British Studies (48) 1, 153–175. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25482966

Here’s the format for newspapers. For print editions, include the page number/s. For online articles, include the full URL.

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date) Title of article. Newspaper title. Page number/s. URL

  • Blakemore, E. (2022, November 12) Researchers track down two copies of fossil destroyed by the Nazis.  The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/11/12/ichthyosaur-fossil-images-discovered/

Electronic APA Bibliography Examples

For articles with a specific author on a website, use this format.

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year, Month Date). Title . Site name. URL

  • Wukovits, J. (2023, January 30). A World War II survivor recalls the London Blitz . British Heritage . https://britishheritage.com/history/world-war-ii-survivor-london-blitz

When an online article doesn’t include a specific author or date, list it like this:

Title . (Year, Month Date). Site name. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL

  • Growing up in the Second World War . (n.d.). Imperial War Museums. Retrieved May 12, 2023, from https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/growing-up-in-the-second-world-war

When you need to list a YouTube video, use the name of the account that uploaded the video, and format it like this:

Name of Account. (Upload year, month day). Title [Video]. YouTube. URL

  • War Stories. (2023, January 15). How did London survive the Blitz during WW2? | Cities at war: London | War stories [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/uwY6JlCvbxc

For more information on writing APA bibliographies, see the APA Style Guide website.

APA Bibliography (Reference List) Example Pages

An APA-style Reference List bibliography example page

Source: Simply Psychology

More APA example pages:

  • Western Australia Library Services APA References Example Page
  • Ancilla College APA References Page Example
  • Scribbr APA References Page Example

MLA Style Bibliography Examples

Diagram of MLA style bibliography entries

Source: PressBooks

MLA style calls for a Works Cited section, which includes all materials quoted or referred to in your paper. You may also include a Works Consulted section, including other reference sources you reviewed but didn’t directly cite. Together, these constitute a bibliography. If your teacher requests an MLA Style Guide bibliography, ask if you should include Works Consulted as well as Works Cited.

How To Write a Bibliography (Works Cited and Works Consulted) in MLA Style

For both MLA Works Cited and Works Consulted sections, use these general guidelines:

  • Start your Works Cited list on a new page. If you include a Works Consulted list, start that on its own new page after the Works Cited section.
  • Center the title (Works Cited or Works Consulted) in the middle of the line at the top of the page.
  • Align the start of each source to the left margin, and use a hanging indent (1/2 inch) for the following lines of each source.
  • Alphabetize your sources using the first word of the citation, usually the author’s last name.
  • Include the author’s full name as listed, last name first.
  • Capitalize titles using the standard MLA format.
  • Leave off the http:// or https:// at the beginning of a URL.

Books and E-Books MLA Bibliography Examples

For books, MLA reference list entries use this format. Add the URL at the end for e-books.

Last Name, First Name Middle Name. Title . Publisher, Date. URL

  • Wynn, Stephen. City of London at War 1939–45 . Pen & Sword Military, 2020. www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/City-of-London-at-War-193945-Paperback/p/17299

Periodical MLA Bibliography Examples

Here’s the style format for magazines, journals, and newspapers. For online articles, add the URL at the end of the listing.

For magazines and journals:

Last Name, First Name. “Title: Subtitle.” Name of Journal , volume number, issue number, Date of Publication, First Page Number–Last Page Number.

  • Bell, Amy. “Landscapes of Fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945.” Journal of British Studies , vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 153–175. www.jstor.org/stable/25482966

When citing newspapers, include the page number/s for print editions or the URL for online articles.

Last Name, First Name. “Title of article.” Newspaper title. Page number/s. Year, month day. Page number or URL

  • Blakemore, Erin. “Researchers Track Down Two Copies of Fossil Destroyed by the Nazis.” The Washington Post. 2022, Nov. 12. www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/11/12/ichthyosaur-fossil-images-discovered/

Electronic MLA Bibliography Examples

Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Month Day, Year published. URL

  • Wukovits, John. 2023. “A World War II Survivor Recalls the London Blitz.” January 30,   2023. https://britishheritage.com/history/world-war-ii-survivor-london-blitz

Website. n.d. “Title.” Accessed Day Month Year. URL.

  • Imperial War Museum. n.d. “Growing Up in the Second World War.” Accessed May 9, 2023. https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/growing-up-in-the-second-world-war.

Here’s how to list YouTube and other online videos.

Creator, if available. “Title of Video.” Website. Uploaded by Username, Day Month Year. URL.

  • “How did London survive the Blitz during WW2? | Cities at war: London | War stories.” YouTube . Uploaded by War Stories, 15 Jan. 2023. youtu.be/uwY6JlCvbxc.

For more information on writing MLA style bibliographies, see the MLA Style website.

MLA Bibliography (Works Cited) Example Pages

A bibliography example page with notes, written in MLA style

Source: The Visual Communication Guy

More MLA example pages:

  • Writing Commons Sample Works Cited Page
  • Scribbr MLA Works Cited Sample Page
  • Montana State University MLA Works Cited Page

Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

The Chicago Manual of Style (sometimes called “Turabian”) actually has two options for citing reference material : Notes and Bibliography and Author-Date. Regardless of which you use, you’ll need a complete detailed list of reference items at the end of your paper. The examples below demonstrate how to write that list.

How To Write a Bibliography Using The Chicago Manual of Style

A diagram of a book bibliography entry for the Chicago Manual of Style

Source: South Texas College

Here are some general notes on writing a Chicago -style bibliography:

  • You may title it “Bibliography” or “References.” Center this title at the top of the page and add two blank lines before the first entry.
  • Left-align each entry, with a hanging half-inch indent for subsequent lines of each entry.
  • Single-space each entry, with a blank line between entries.
  • Include the “http://” or “https://” at the beginning of URLs.

Books and E-Books Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

For books, Chicago -style reference list entries use this format. (For print books, leave off the information about how the book was accessed.)

Last Name, First Name Middle Name. Title . City of Publication: Publisher, Date. How e-book was accessed.

  • Wynn, Stephen. City of London at War 1939–45 . Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Military, 2020. Kindle edition.

Periodical Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

For journal and magazine articles, use this format.

Last Name, First Name. Year of Publication. “Title: Subtitle.” Name of Journal , Volume Number, issue number, First Page Number–Last Page Number. URL.

  • Bell, Amy. 2009. “Landscapes of Fear: Wartime London, 1939–1945.” Journal of British Studies, 48 no. 1, 153–175. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25482966.

When citing newspapers, include the URL for online articles.

Last Name, First Name. Year of Publication. “Title: Subtitle.” Name of Newspaper , Month day, year. URL.

  • Blakemore, Erin. 2022. “Researchers Track Down Two Copies of Fossil Destroyed by the Nazis.” The Washington Post , November 12, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/11/12/ichthyosaur-fossil-images-discovered/.

Electronic Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Examples

Last Name, First Name Middle Name. “Title.” Site Name . Year, Month Day. URL.

  • Wukovits, John. “A World War II Survivor Recalls the London Blitz.” British Heritage. 2023, Jan. 30. britishheritage.com/history/world-war-ii-survivor-london-blitz.

“Title.” Site Name . URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

  • “Growing Up in the Second World War.” Imperial War Museums . www.iwm.org.uk/history/growing-up-in-the-second-world-war. Accessed May 9, 2023.

Creator or Username. “Title of Video.” Website video, length. Month Day, Year. URL.

  • War Stories. “How Did London Survive the Blitz During WW2? | Cities at War: London | War Stories.” YouTube video, 51:25. January 15, 2023. https://youtu.be/uwY6JlCvbxc.

For more information on writing Chicago -style bibliographies, see the Chicago Manual of Style website.

Chicago Manual of Style Bibliography Example Pages

A page showing an example of a bibliography using the Chicago Manual of Style

Source: Chicago Manual of Style

More Chicago example pages:

  • Scribbr Chicago Style Bibliography Example
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab CMOS Bibliography Page
  • Bibcitation Sample Chicago Bibliography

Now that you know how to write a bibliography, take a look at the Best Websites for Teaching & Learning Writing .

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Learn how to write a bibliography using MLA, ALA, and Chicago Manual of Style, plus see examples for each style and more.

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What is a Bibliographic Citation? Examples & Best Practices

  • Posted on May 26, 2023

Whenever you dip your toes into the research world, one term you will likely encounter is “citation.” The term is familiar as every research work needs to contain a bibliography with a list of the sources consulted during the research process. You also have to ensure that the sources you include are appropriately cited. This is where bibliographic citation comes into the picture.

But what is a bibliographic citation? And how can you ensure that you follow the best practices when citing your sources? Read on to explore the definition, examples, and best practices of bibliographic citations.

What is a Bibliographic Citation?

A bibliographic citation is a reference to a book, article, web page, or other published item that provides the necessary information for readers to locate and retrieve that source. It includes the following information:

  • Author’s last name
  • Date of publication
  • Page numbers of your sources
  • Online sources

When writing a research paper, it is important to cite sources and paraphrase to avoid plagiarism . There are different source types that require other citation formats, such as journal articles, magazine articles, online articles, electronic sources, conference proceedings, and book reviews.

You should include the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses for in-text citations. If you cite multiple sources, list them alphabetically by the author’s last name.

For reference entries, the format will vary depending on the source type. For example, a journal article citation should include the author’s last name and initials, the publication year, the article title, the journal title, the volume number, and the page numbers. 

An online source citation should include the author’s last name and initials, the publication date, the article title, the website name, the URL or HTML, and the date you accessed the source.

During citation, it is essential to provide detailed information for each source you cite to help readers locate the source. You should also ensure your research paper is accurate and credible for easy organizing.

When writing quoted information, knowing the difference between summarizing and paraphrasing is vital. If you use direct wording without changing them, it could lead to high plagiarism scores. 

What is an Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a collection of specific notes on a source. The bibliographies include two parts: the citation and the annotation. The citation provides basic information about the source, such as the author’s name(s), publication date, title of work, and publisher. 

At the same time, annotations are brief summaries or evaluations describing how valuable each information source was for your research project.

For an annotated bibliography, in-text citations should be included within parentheses after any direct quote or paraphrase from another author’s work (basic format). 

You can also create a reference list with all works cited at the end of the paper. It is essential to list the citations alphabetically by last name and first initial followed by year publication information enclosed in parentheses (Publication Manual).

  • Last Name, First Initial. (Year Published). Title of Book/Article/Journal/Magazine/Newspaper/etc., Publisher/City Where Published.
  • Doe JF Jr., Smith AB III. (2019) Marketing strategies for small businesses: A case study approach. Wiley & Sons Inc, New York City.

Bibliographies can be an incredibly helpful tool when conducting research or writing papers. They provide detailed information about sources used in your work, which can ensure you’re citing all relevant materials correctly.

What are Endnotes?

Endnotes citation provide additional information or clarification on a specific point within the text. You can place them at the end of a page, so readers can easily locate them without disrupting the writing’s continuity. 

Unlike in-text citations, which use parentheses and can be found directly after the quoted or paraphrased material, endnotes utilize superscript numbers that correspond with their respective entries in an organized reference list at the conclusion of your thesis. 

To properly format an endnote, include essential details such as the author’s name, publication date, title, and publisher, separated by commas.

3 Examples of Bibliographic Citations

There are different formats for bibliographic citations, depending on the source type. Here are three examples of bibliographic citations:

1. Book Citation

Here is an American Psychological Association (APA) style book citation:

  • Author Last Name, Author First Name. (Publication Year) Title. Publisher’s City: Publisher. Page numbers

In this citation, the author’s last name comes first, followed by their first name. The publication year is enclosed in parentheses, followed by the book’s title, the publisher’s city, the publisher, and the page numbers. 

For example, Smith, John. (2010) The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner. 167-250.2. Journal article citation

It is essential to consider if the book has more than one writer, as this can change the formatting of the above citation. For instance, you have to write all the writers’ names in the same format, Last Name, First Name.

2. Journal Article Citation

Here is an APA-style journal article citation:

  • Author Last Name, Author First Name. (Publication Date—could be more than a year) “Article Title.”Publication Title, Vol. #. (Issue #), Page numbers

When citing a journal article, you should include the author’s last name and first name, the publication date, the article title, the publication title, the volume and issue numbers, and the page numbers. You can also input a doi if the publisher provides one.

For example, Johnson, Emily. (2018) “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health.” Psychology Today, 35(4), 12-23.

3. Website Citation

Here is an American Psychological Association (APA-style) journal article citation:

  • Author. (Date of Internet Publication—could be more than a year) “Document Title.” Title of Publication. Retrieved on: Date from Full Web Address, starting with http://

A website citation should include the author’s name, date of internet publication, document title, title of publication, and the full web address. 

For example, Smith, Mark. (2020) “The Benefits of Meditation.” Healthline. Retrieved on August 15, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation . Note that the data retrieved should correspond with the precise date you visited the website for research.

You can also use different bibliographic citations to cite the same information. Be keen on the changes, as they can be slightly confusing. 

Best Practices for Bibliographic Citations

Incorporating bibliographic citations effectively is crucial in any research paper or article. Follow these best practices to ensure accuracy and consistency:

  • Choose the appropriate citation style based on your field (e.g., humanities, social sciences).
  • Use quotation marks for direct quotes and italics for titles of longer works.
  • Include parenthetical citations with relevant information, such as the author’s last name, publication date, and page number.
  • List all sources alphabetically by the author’s last name on a separate reference page.
  • Avoid unnecessary abbreviations and maintain consistent formatting throughout your work.

To better understand the citation rules, it is ideal to understand the different exemplary bibliographic citations such as American Psychological Association (APA 7th edition), Chicago, or Modern Language Association (MLA 8th edition). The styles have specific formatting requirements for different types of sources of information like articles and web pages.

For more guidance on citing different sources , refer to this comprehensive citation guide on how to use citations with various styles like APA, MLA style, and the Chicago Manual of Style:

Every research individual can ask, “What is a bibliographic citation?” Bibliographic citations are an essential part of any research paper or publication. They provide detailed information about the sources used in the work and allow readers to locate and verify the information cited. 

Annotated bibliographies and endnotes are also valuable tools for organizing and presenting sources. It is essential to follow best practices, including all necessary information, formatting correctly, and citing multiple sources properly, to ensure your work is credible and reliable. 

If you need assistance with creating accurate bibliographic citations or other aspects of your marketing materials or publications, visit our website today !

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Go to Index

Notes and Bibliography: Sample Citations

Go to Author-Date: Sample Citations

The following examples illustrate the notes and bibliography system. Sample notes show full citations followed by shortened citations for the same sources. Sample bibliography entries follow the notes. For more details and many more examples, see chapter 14 of The Chicago Manual of Style . For examples of the same citations using the author-date system, follow the Author-Date link above.

1. Zadie Smith, Swing Time   (New York: Penguin Press, 2016), 315–16.

2. Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015), 12.

Shortened notes

3. Smith, Swing Time , 320.

4. Grazer and Fishman, Curious Mind , 37.

Bibliography entries (in alphabetical order)

Grazer, Brian, and Charles Fishman. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life . New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015.

Smith, Zadie. Swing Time . New York: Penguin Press, 2016.

For many more examples, covering virtually every type of book, see 14.100–163 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Chapter or other part of an edited book

In a note, cite specific pages. In the bibliography, include the page range for the chapter or part.

1. Henry David Thoreau, “Walking,” in The Making of the American Essay , ed. John D’Agata (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016), 177–78.

Shortened note

2. Thoreau, “Walking,” 182.

Bibliography entry

Thoreau, Henry David. “Walking.” In The Making of the American Essay , edited by John D’Agata, 167–95. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016.

In some cases, you may want to cite the collection as a whole instead.

1. John D’Agata, ed., The Making of the American Essay (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016), 177–78.

2. D’Agata, American Essay , 182.

D’Agata, John, ed. The Making of the American Essay . Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2016.

For more examples, see 14.103–5 and 14.106–12 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Translated book

1. Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words , trans. Ann Goldstein (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016), 146.

2. Lahiri, In Other Words , 184.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. In Other Words . Translated by Ann Goldstein. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.

For books consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database. For other types of e-books, name the format. If no fixed page numbers are available, cite a section title or a chapter or other number in the notes, if any (or simply omit).

1. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851), 627, http://mel.hofstra.edu/moby-dick-the-whale-proofs.html.

2. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), chap. 10, doc. 19, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/.

3. Brooke Borel, The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 92, ProQuest Ebrary.

4. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (New York: Penguin Classics, 2007), chap. 3, Kindle.

5. Melville, Moby-Dick , 722–23.

6. Kurland and Lerner, Founder s ’ Constitution , chap. 4, doc. 29.

7. Borel, Fact-Checking , 104–5.

8. Austen, Pride and Prejudice , chap. 14.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice . New York: Penguin Classics, 2007. Kindle.

Borel, Brooke. The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. ProQuest Ebrary.

Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. The Founders’ Constitution . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/.

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale . New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851. http://mel.hofstra.edu/moby-dick-the-whale-proofs.html.

For more examples, see 14.1 59 –63 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Journal article

In a note, cite specific page numbers. In the bibliography, include the page range for the whole article. For articles consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database. Many journal articles list a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins https://doi.org/. This URL is preferable to the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.

1. Susan Satterfield, “Livy and the Pax Deum ,” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April 2016): 170.

2. Shao-Hsun Keng, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem, “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality,” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 9–10, https://doi.org/10.1086/690235.

3. Peter LaSalle, “Conundrum: A Story about Reading,” New England Review 38, no. 1 (2017): 95, Project MUSE.

4. Satterfield, “Livy,” 172–73.

5. Keng, Lin, and Orazem, “Expanding College Access,” 23.

6. LaSalle, “Conundrum,” 101.

Keng, Shao-Hsun, Chun-Hung Lin, and Peter F. Orazem. “Expanding College Access in Taiwan, 1978–2014: Effects on Graduate Quality and Income Inequality.” Journal of Human Capital 11, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 1–34. https://doi.org/10.1086/690235.

LaSalle, Peter. “Conundrum: A Story about Reading.” New England Review 38, no. 1 (2017): 95–109. Project MUSE.

Satterfield, Susan. “Livy and the Pax Deum .” Classical Philology 111, no. 2 (April 2016): 165–76.

Journal articles often list many authors, especially in the sciences. If there are four or more authors, list up to ten in the bibliography; in a note, list only the first, followed by et al . (“and others”). For more than ten authors (not shown here), list the first seven in the bibliography, followed by et al .

7. Rachel A. Bay et al., “Predicting Responses to Contemporary Environmental Change Using Evolutionary Response Architectures,” American Naturalist 189, no. 5 (May 2017): 465, https://doi.org/10.1086/691233.

8. Bay et al., “Predicting Responses,” 466.

Bay, Rachael A., Noah Rose, Rowan Barrett, Louis Bernatchez, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Jesse R. Lasky, Rachel B. Brem, Stephen R. Palumbi, and Peter Ralph. “Predicting Responses to Contemporary Environmental Change Using Evolutionary Response Architectures.” American Naturalist 189, no. 5 (May 2017): 463–73. https://doi.org/10.1086/691233.

For more examples, see 14.1 68 – 87 in The Chicago Manual of Style .

News or magazine article

Articles from newspapers or news sites, magazines, blogs, and the like are cited similarly. Page numbers, if any, can be cited in a note but are omitted from a bibliography entry. If you consulted the article online, include a URL or the name of the database.

1. Rebecca Mead, “The Prophet of Dystopia,” New Yorker , April 17, 2017, 43.

2. Farhad Manjoo, “Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera,” New York Times , March 8, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera.html.

3. Rob Pegoraro, “Apple’s iPhone Is Sleek, Smart and Simple,” Washington Post , July 5, 2007, LexisNexis Academic.

4. Tanya Pai, “The Squishy, Sugary History of Peeps,” Vox , April 11, 2017, http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/4/11/15209084/peeps-easter.

5. Mead, “Dystopia,” 47.

6. Manjoo, “Snap.”

7. Pegoraro, “Apple’s iPhone.”

8. Pai, “History of Peeps.”

Manjoo, Farhad. “Snap Makes a Bet on the Cultural Supremacy of the Camera.” New York Times , March 8, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/technology/snap-makes-a-bet-on-the-cultural-supremacy-of-the-camera.html.

Mead, Rebecca. “The Prophet of Dystopia.” New Yorker , April 17, 2017.

Pai, Tanya. “The Squishy, Sugary History of Peeps.” Vox , April 11, 2017. http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/4/11/15209084/peeps-easter.

Pegoraro, Rob. “Apple’s iPhone Is Sleek, Smart and Simple.” Washington Post , July 5, 2007. LexisNexis Academic.

Readers’ comments are cited in the text or in a note but omitted from a bibliography.

9. Eduardo B (Los Angeles), March 9, 2017, comment on Manjoo, “Snap.”

For more examples, see 14.1 88 – 90 (magazines), 14.191–200 (newspapers), and 14.208 (blogs) in The Chicago Manual of Style .

Book review

1. Michiko Kakutani, “Friendship Takes a Path That Diverges,” review of Swing Time , by Zadie Smith, New York Times , November 7, 2016.

2. Kakutani, “Friendship.”

Kakutani, Michiko. “Friendship Takes a Path That Diverges.” Review of Swing Time , by Zadie Smith. New York Times , November 7, 2016.

1. Kory Stamper, “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English,” interview by Terry Gross, Fresh Air , NPR, April 19, 2017, audio, 35:25, http://www.npr.org/2017/04/19/524618639/from-f-bomb-to-photobomb-how-the-dictionary-keeps-up-with-english.

2. Stamper, interview.

Stamper, Kory. “From ‘F-Bomb’ to ‘Photobomb,’ How the Dictionary Keeps Up with English.” Interview by Terry Gross. Fresh Air , NPR, April 19, 2017. Audio, 35:25. http://www.npr.org/2017/04/19/524618639/from-f-bomb-to-photobomb-how-the-dictionary-keeps-up-with-english.

Thesis or dissertation

1. Cynthia Lillian Rutz, “ King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues” (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2013), 99–100.

2. Rutz, “ King Lear ,” 158.

Rutz, Cynthia Lillian. “ King Lear and Its Folktale Analogues.” PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2013.

Website content

It is often sufficient simply to describe web pages and other website content in the text (“As of May 1, 2017, Yale’s home page listed . . .”). If a more formal citation is needed, it may be styled like the examples below. For a source that does not list a date of publication or revision, include an access date (as in example note 2).

1. “Privacy Policy,” Privacy & Terms, Google, last modified April 17, 2017, https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.

2. “About Yale: Yale Facts,” Yale University, accessed May 1, 2017, https://www.yale.edu/about-yale/yale-facts.

3. Katie Bouman, “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole,” filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA, video, 12:51, https://www.ted.com/talks/katie_bouman_what_does_a_black_hole_look_like.

4. Google, “Privacy Policy.”

5. “Yale Facts.”

6. Bouman, “Black Hole.”

Bouman, Katie. “How to Take a Picture of a Black Hole.” Filmed November 2016 at TEDxBeaconStreet, Brookline, MA. Video, 12:51. https://www.ted.com/talks/katie_bouman_what_does_a_black_hole_look_like.

Google. “Privacy Policy.” Privacy & Terms. Last modified April 17, 2017. https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/.

Yale University. “About Yale: Yale Facts.” Accessed May 1, 2017. https://www.yale.edu/about-yale/yale-facts.

For more examples, see 14. 20 5–10 in The Chicago Manual of Style . For multimedia, including live performances, see 14. 261–68 .

Social media content

Citations of content shared through social media can usually be limited to the text (as in the first example below). A note may be added if a more formal citation is needed. In rare cases, a bibliography entry may also be appropriate. In place of a title, quote up to the first 160 characters of the post. Comments are cited in reference to the original post.

Conan O’Brien’s tweet was characteristically deadpan: “In honor of Earth Day, I’m recycling my tweets” (@ConanOBrien, April 22, 2015).

1. Pete Souza (@petesouza), “President Obama bids farewell to President Xi of China at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit,” Instagram photo, April 1, 2016, https://www.instagram.com/p/BDrmfXTtNCt/.

2. Chicago Manual of Style, “Is the world ready for singular they? We thought so back in 1993,” Facebook, April 17, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoManual/posts/10152906193679151.

3. Souza, “President Obama.”

4. Michele Truty, April 17, 2015, 1:09 p.m., comment on Chicago Manual of Style, “singular they.”

Chicago Manual of Style. “Is the world ready for singular they? We thought so back in 1993.” Facebook, April 17, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoManual/posts/10152906193679151.

Personal communication

Personal communications, including email and text messages and direct messages sent through social media, are usually cited in the text or in a note only; they are rarely included in a bibliography.

1. Sam Gomez, Facebook message to author, August 1, 2017.

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Citing Sources: APA Citation Examples

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APA Citations

  • Periodicals

Basic Format for a Book:

Reference List: Authors' Last name, First Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Edition) [if other than the 1st]. Publisher.

In-text: (Author, Year)

   ~ Book with One Author:

Reference List:  Brader, T. (2006). Campaigning for hearts and minds: How emotional appeals in political ads work . University of Chicago Press. 

In-text: (Brader, 2006)

   ~ ​Book with Two  Authors:

Reference List:   Miller, T. E., & Schuh, J. H. (2005). Promoting reasonable expectations: Aligning student and institutional views of the college experience. Jossey-Bass.

In-text:  (Miller & Schuh, 2005) *for more than two authors (3 or more), list only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in every citation, even the first, unless doing so would create ambiguity between different sources. Example: (Kernis et al., 1993)

Basic format for an eBook:

Reference list:  author's last name, first initial. (year).  book title [format of book]. publisher. url , in-text:  (author, year),   ~ example:, reference list:  brock, j., & arciuli, j. (2014).  communication in autism [ebook edition] .  john benjamins publishing company. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4757-4806-2, in-text:  (brock & arciuli, 2014).

Basic Format for a Print Journal Article: 

Last name, First Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title.  Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title ,  Volume number (Issue number), Page numbers of the entire article.

   ~ Example:

Newman, J. L., Fuqua, D. R., Gray, E. A., & Simpson, D. B. (2006). Gender differences in the relationship of anger and depression in a clinical sample.  Journal of Counseling & Development ,  84 , 157-161.

Basic Format for an Online Journal Article:

Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, Volume number (Issue number), Page numbers. doi or URL of publication home page

   ~ Online Journal Article with DOI Assigned:

Basic Format: 

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article.  Title of Journal, volume number (issue number),   page range. https://doi.org/10.0000/0000

Denhart, H. (2008). Deconstructing barriers: Perceptions of students labeled with learning disabilities in higher education.  Journal of Learning Disabilities ,  41 (6), 483-497. https://doi.org/ 10.1177/0022219408321151

    ~ Online Journal Article with no DOI Assigned:

Basic Format:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article.  Title of Journal, volume number (issue number).  http://www.journalhomepage.com/full/url/

Example: 

von Busch, O., & Palmas, K. (2016). Designing consent: Can design thinking manufacture democratic capitalism?  Organizational Aesthetics, 5 (2), 10-24. http://digitalcommons.wpi.edu/oa/. 

Basic Format for citing an image in the Reference List:

Last name, first initial. (year image was created).  title of work  [type of work]. url , note: if you can only find the screen name of an author, use that as the author's name. maintain the formatting of the screen name. for example, if a screen name is in all lower case, keep the name in lower case in your citations. if there is no title, create your own title that describes the content of the image., example of a reference list citation for an image: , sipler , d. (2005).  nap time [photograph]. flickr.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/284159867/in/set-72157594353612286, formatting figures in your paper:, each image in your paper should have a figure number, a title, and a caption. the caption should describe the image, provide a citation for the image, and provide copyright information. for example:, two cats resting,            , note. this photo shows two orange cats resting in the "loaf" position. from  nap time [photograph], by d. sipler, 2005, flickr ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/284159867/in/set-72157594353612286 ).  cc by 2.0 ., if you have taken the photo or created the image, you do not need to cite it or provide copyright information for it. you will still need to label the picture with a figure number and title, and you will need to provide a caption with information on what the image shows. , for more information on formatting tables and figures in your apa style paper, see:, apa style guide: tables and figures, apa style guide: clip art or stock image references, navigating copyright for reproduced images, if you did not create the image, you need to provide a copyright statement for that image. the apa style blog takes you through the four steps of navigating copyright for reproduced images:, understand the copyright status of the image., determine whether permission is needed to reproduce the image., secure permission to reproduce the image, if permission is needed.  , write the apa style copyright statement and reference list entry for the image.  , for more information on copyright and finding safe to reuse images, see the library's copyright guide . , basic format for a print article: ,    ~ magazine article:,  white, c. (2006, april). the spirit of disobedience: an invitation to resistance. harper's magazine, 312 (1871), 31-40. ,    ~ newspaper article: , zernike, k. (2015, october 25). white house moves to limit school testing.  new york times , p. a1. , note: for newspaper articles,  p. or pp. precedes page numbers for a newspaper reference in apa style. single pages take p., e.g., p. b2; multiple pages take pp., e.g., pp. b2, b4 or pp. c1, c3-c4. ,    ~ newspaper article found on a newspaper's website:, author, a. a. (year, month day). title of article. title of newspaper.  http://www.someaddress.com/full/url/ , zernike, k. (2016, february 29). testing for joy and grit schools nationwide push to measure students’ emotional skills.  the new york times . http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/us/testing-for-joy-and-grit-schools-nationwide-push-to-measure-students-emotional-skills.html_r=.

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Publishing Style Guide

Learn about AAA's style for all publications as well as specifics for citations, references, and more.

AAA Style Guide

AAA publications follow the  Chicago Manual of Style , 17th edition, particularly in regard to reference citations, which are summarized below, as well as Wiley style in regard to in-text citations.

In-text citations

  • Place citations in parentheses and include the author’s name and the source’s year of publication, with no intervening punctuation, at the end of a sentence or before a comma or semicolon, whenever possible: (Herzfeld, 2005).
  • Always include page numbers for quotations or extensive paraphrases, using an en dash for page ranges: (Herzfeld, 2005, 146–47). (Note: they are preceded by a comma, not a colon; this is a major change from the AAA Style Guide.)
  • Use semicolons to separate two or more references in a single parenthetical citation and list them alphabetically: (Bessire & Bond, 2014; Comaroff, 1996; Daser, 2014; Foucault, 2000).
  • Do not include “ed.” or “trans.” in citations (and in the case of books that have been reprinted or updated, do not include the original publication year), as this information will be included on the reference list.
  • Use the first author’s last name and et al. for works with three or more authors.

Reference list

  • Do not embed the reference list in the endnotes.
  • Include every source cited in the text and no others, listed alphabetically by author.
  • When including multiple works by the same author, list them chronologically, from oldest to most recent.
  • For works published by the same author in the same year, add a, b, and so on, and list them alphabetically by title.

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Annotated Bibliography Format & Examples

A complete guide to the mla & apa annotated bibliography.

If you’ve just received an assignment that requires an MLA or APA annotated bibliography, you may be wondering where to start. This guide will help answer all of your questions and includes step-by-step instructions on how to do an annotated bibliography in MLA style, as well as an APA annotated bibliography. You will also find sample annotated bibliographies, real-life examples, and opportunities to practice what you have learned.

The MLA ( Modern Language Association ) and APA (American Psychological Association) are not associated with this guide. All of the information provided here, however, offers direction for students and researchers who use these citation styles in their work.

The structures and annotated bibliography templates on this page were created by the in-house librarians at EasyBib.com.

If you’re simply looking for an example of an annotated bibliography (both in MLA format and APA format), scroll down toward the bottom of the page. We’ve included links to visuals for those of you who need help with the structure and styling of an annotated bibliography. If you’re looking for a variety of annotated bibliography topics, and you’re truly searching for the answer to, “What is an annotated bibliography?” then continue reading!

Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:

Table of contents

What is an annotated bibliography, annotations vs. abstract, why include annotations.

  • Step 1: Analyze your sources

Step 2: Write the descriptions

  • Step 3a: Formatting an MLA style annotated bibliography
  • Step 3b: Formatting an APA style annotated bibliography

Annotated Bibliography Templates

Using the easybib annotation tool.

A bibliography is a complete list of the sources that were used to complete a research paper or project.

Depending on the style guide you follow, you may also see this called a Works Cited (also called an MLA bibliography) or Reference List (APA format). Each listed source, or citation , shares information about the author, title, publishing year, and other details that serve to credit the original authors whose work informed your research. These details also help other students and researchers find and read the source materials.

When your research is related to a scholastic assignment, you should always verify your instructor’s requirements for the types and number of sources to include, as well as the style you should adhere to when formatting your paper and bibliography.

An MLA annotated bibliography and an APA format annotated bibliography are bibliographies that include a concise explanation, or annotation , of each listed source. Depending on the assignment, this annotation may be solely descriptive, or analytical.

An abstract and annotation should not be confused; they differ in both their substance as well as their placement in a paper.

Annotations: 

  • Usually found in bibliographies at the end of a paper
  • Are subjective
  • Purpose is to summarize and evaluate . It should briefly communicate the work’s main point, but also discuss the background of the author or study, and the strengths/weaknesses of the work.

Abstracts: 

  • Usually found in journal databases or the beginning of a paper
  • Are objective
  • Purpose is to summarize . It should provide a short overview of the article and communicate the main points and themes.

If you would like to learn more , this link further explores the difference between an abstract and an annotation.

This resource provides additional information on how to write a bibliography with annotations in other formats. You can also take advantage of the plagiarism checker and bibliography tools that come with EasyBib Plus to help you create your reference lists.

Before you learn how to make an annotated bibliography, you may be wondering why you need to.

Sometimes instructors want you to create and include annotations in your bibliography, either as part of an assignment or as an assignment unto itself. Understanding the purpose of this approach to your reference list can help to ensure that you gain all of the benefits that the annotated bibliography process provides.

As a student, this method will help you develop or hone your research skills, providing you with practice not only in locating sources but also in analyzing and evaluating them for relevance and quality.

Your instructor will gain insight into your research abilities, as well, allowing them to assess your work more thoroughly. If you plan to publish your research, this comprehensive approach to detailing your sources will provide readers and other researchers with a substantial directory of resources to evaluate for their own work.

Whether you’re publishing or submitting your annotated bibliography, make sure your spelling and wording is correct! If you need to brush up on any parts of speech topics, check out our interjection , determiner , and adverb pages!

Step 1: Analyze your sources 

Each annotation should be a summarization or analysis of your source. If you have been tasked with writing annotations as part of a research paper or project, begin to create both the citation and notes on the source while you identify and analyze your sources.

Not only will this approach help you to hone your research skills and identify sources that are relevant and useful for your topic, but you will also save time. When done in this manner, both your citations and annotations will be nearly complete before you begin to write the body of your paper.

Analyzing your potential sources requires a two-pronged approach that first evaluates the author, publication, and date, and then examines the content.

When conducting your initial assessment of the source, consider some of the following questions to guide your appraisal:

  • What qualifies the author to write on this subject?
  • Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution in this field?
  • Is the author credentialed or otherwise considered an expert in this field?
  • Is this source current?
  • Is this the most recent edition?
  • Is the publisher reputable?
  • Is the journal reputable?

Once your primary evaluation is complete, you will move on the assessing the content itself. Consider some of these elements as you review each source:

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the author presenting her opinion or interpretation as the truth, or stating facts?
  • What supporting evidence does the author provide?
  • Did the author perform the research, or curate and present the research of others?
  • If the author used the research of others, are the sources the author cites credible?
  • Are there errors or omissions of fact?
  • Is the author writing objectively and without bias?

Also, consider the value each source provides to you:

  • Is the information helpful for your particular assignment?
  • Does it help answer your research question(s)?
  • Is this source different from your other sources, or does it repeat information you already have?
  • Is the source providing you with a different perspective on your topic, or changing your beliefs or thinking about your subject?

To make it easier for you to create your reference page, write your notes in the format you will be using when you construct this part of the assignment (for instance, as short phrases or complete sentences). Once you have identified all of the sources you wish to include, you will merely need to insert what you have already written on the page and write your citation, which is explained in the next section.

Click here for additional information and a supplementary annotated bibliography sample. For an MLA bibliography example (with annotations),  check out our visual example of an MLA annotated bibliography .

An annotated bibliography entry may be written either as short phrases or complete sentences. Your instructor will advise you of which approach you are required to take.

Annotations should include either:

  • The main points from the source, as well as the topics covered, the approach used, and any findings.
  • Or your critical evaluation.
  • A standard annotation is approximately one paragraph.
  • Take care not to include any unnecessary details, as the goal is to summarize each source as succinctly as possible and, in some cases, evaluate them.
  • Your field of study or instructor will determine what format your annotated bibliography will use. In this guide, you’ll find examples of an MLA and an APA annotated bibliography.

Here is an annotated bibliography example MLA annotation for the book The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by UK author and blogger Mark Forsyth:

The author, Mark Forsyth, examines the rhetorical devices used in the English language, analyzing the patterns and formats that create memorable quotes. He traces the history of rhetoric to the Ancient Greeks, and provides an abridged timeline, following their use and evolution through to modern day. The author also explores the broader subject of persuasion and maps out the role that the figures of rhetoric play in it. In all, he examines over thirty devices, dissecting notable passages and phrases from pop music, the plays of William Shakespeare, the Bible, and more to explore the figures of rhetoric at work within each of them. Thorough definitions accompany this examination of structure to demonstrate how these formulas have been used to generate famously memorable expressions as well as how to reproduce their effects.

Notice how the annotated bibliography MLA entry above is descriptive enough so the reader has an idea of what the source is about with just a single paragraph. For more information on annotations, check out this informative site . If you’re looking to strengthen your writing in general, reading these grammar guides could be a good start.

For guidance on creating entries in MLA format , APA format , and more styles , check out the EasyBib library of resources or try the EasyBib annotation tool—we talk about it below!

Step 3a: MLA annotated bibliography format

The MLA Style Center and the current edition of the MLA Handbook provide the following guidance for formatting an MLA annotated bibliography:

  • Title your reference page as “Annotated Bibliography” or “Annotated List of Works Cited.”
  • Place each annotation after its reference.
  • Annotations should typically not exceed a single paragraph.
  • Annotations should be indented one inch from the start of your citation.
  • Double-space all text on the page.
  • 1-inch margins around the page.

Sources in an annotated bibliography can be organized alphabetically by the first word in each reference (as with a normal Works Cited page), by publication date, or by subject.

For a visual example of an annotated bibliography, as well as specific annotation examples, visit the MLA annotated bibliography guide .

MLA annotated bibliography

If you are required to share your references in a manner other than in MLA bibliography format, the EasyBib style guides can help you with many common styles. While you’re at it, check out their conjunction , preposition , and pronoun pages to help keep your paper in mint condition!

Step 3b: APA annotated bibliography format

The American Psychological Association states that your instructor should set the guidelines for your annotated bibliography, but asks that the bibliography be formatted according to their standard reference page rules (see Section 9.51 of the Publication Manual ). If your teacher has requested an APA formatted annotated bibliography, first ask them for guidelines. Otherwise, here are some quick rules for you to follow:

  • Double space all text on the page.  
  • Title your page “Annotated Bibliogra phy”. Bold and center the title.  
  • Organize references alphabetically by the first word of each reference.  
  • Only the first line of a ref erence is flush with the left margin. Any other lines after the first line should be indented ½ inch from the left.  
  • Add annotations on the next line after their paired reference.   
  • Fully indent annotations by a ½ inch from the left.  
  • Keep annotations short. No more than one paragraph.  

For examples of a  properly formatted APA annotation, visit this guide on APA annotated bibliographies .  

In comparison to the sample annotated bibliography MLA, the APA sample formats its page elements and references differently.

bibliography citations examples

Students and researchers who type their research notes can save time by using an annotated bibliography template in MLA format while reviewing and analyzing sources. By adding the relevant information into a pre-formatted template, you’ll create a resource that helps you when you begin writing your paper in addition to saving time by completing your references and summaries alongside your research.

Students who prefer to take notes by hand can employ a modified version of this approach, with an additional step required to transfer your handwritten and formatted references from your notebook to populate your reference page.

Bibliography Template for MLA

To create an annotated bibliography MLA template, copy the following details into the program in which you will take notes or hand write it on the top margin of a page in your notebook. For each source, use this template to guide you as you identify the necessary details and insert them into your notes:

  • Author (Last name, First name).
  • Title of source.
  • Title of the container ,
  • Other contributors (names and roles),
  • Publication Date,
  • Location of the source (such as URL or page range).
  • Summary or Analysis.

The MLA 9 model for MLA works cited entries offers a single format for all source type, and a great deal of flexibility to include the information most relevant to your topic and omit that which isn’t.

Hopefully our visual annotated bibliography example in MLA above has helped. If you still have lingering questions, visit the MLA Style Center online ( linked here ). Also, here’s a guide if you’re looking for more on the related topic of MLA in-text & parenthetical citations .

Bibliography Template for APA

Students and researchers who are still asking themselves how to piece together an annotated bibliography, or still questioning what is an annotated bibliography, could probably benefit from a template, similar to the one above. This one, however, is for those of you who are tasked with creating an annotated bibliography in the style created by the American Psychological Association.

The tricky thing about this specific style though, is that every reference is styled differently. Books, websites, journal articles, newspaper articles, and many others each have their own reference structure.

For most sources though, you should look for the following, basic information:

  • Type of source
  • Author (last name, first name)
  • Title of source/article/web page, etc.
  • Title of where source was found (e.g., database name, website name, etc.)
  • Other contributors (names and roles)
  • Location of the source (such as URL, DOI, or page range)
  • Summary or Analysis

We understand it can get tricky, and it’s very different from the Modern Language Association’s structure for references. Take a moment to either use the other handy guides on EasyBib.com or use our automatic generator to form your references in just a few clicks. Our tools help take the pain away from having to rack your brain to form references properly. Capitals, lowercase letters, italics, quotation marks, punctuation in the appropriate places, it can all be quite overwhelming. Do yourself a favor, and use the EasyBib automatic citation generator.

Even though there are a lot of different variations, here’s a commonly used structure for sources:

Author’s Last Name, First initial, Middle initial. (Year the source was published). Title of the source . Retrieved from (insert the website address here)

Underneath the reference, include your summary or analysis paragraph.

Hopefully, this page helped answer all of your “What is an annotated bibliography?” questions. If you’re seeking out an annotated bibliography generator, follow the steps above the annotated bibliography examples.

Looking for additional help with other related topics? Don’t forget about the various beneficial guides on EasyBib.com! Our APA in-text citation guide and our APA parenthetical citation guide are two of our most popular pages. Learn the ins and outs of referencing your work in the body of your paper with our thorough, complete, and reader-friendly guides.

If you are creating a bibliography in MLA format, the EasyBib MLA bibliography generator can help save you time formatting your citations and annotations correctly. You can create entries for websites, books, videos, databases, dictionary articles, and many other types of sources.

In addition to forming the citations, you can also enter your annotation text to produce the complete entry for each source. The process for this is simple. You can follow along below to practice creating one:

  • First, select your source type from among the 50+ available options. For this example, we will use the acting career of Keanu Reeves as our research topic and use the movie Point Break from 1991 as our first source. To cite this film, you would select the option for “Film/Online Video.” As you follow along, pick the option that is suitable for your source if you are using a different example.
  • Enter the title of your source or, if you are citing a website, you may enter the URL. (Now would be a great time to peek at how to cite websites in MLA ). After you enter the title or URL for your reference, the EasyBib citation tool will scan for titles that match it and provide you with a list of results. Select “Cite this” next to the listing that matches your source.
  • You will see a citation form. This gives you the option to add additional relevant or necessary information. For our sample topic, we will specifically cite Keanu Reeves as the performer and Kathryn Bigelow as the director.
  • After entering any additional details, you have the option to expand your entry and include an annotation. To do so, select “Add annotation” at the bottom of the page, and a text box will open up.

Then, type your summary or analysis into the text box. If you took notes during the research stage using the format of your paper, this might be as simple as copying and pasting your already written summary or critique. Once you have entered all of the necessary information, select “Create citation” to generate the complete entry. You can then copy and paste this into your MLA bibliography.

Here’s what it’ll look like:

Point Break . Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, performance by Keanu Reeves, 20th Century Fox, 1991.

Reeves’ role as rookie FBI Agent Johnny Utah in Point Break marks the turning point in his Hollywood film career. While he’d risen to fame due to the success of the Bill and Ted franchise, his status today as an action star began when Point Break provided him with the material to establish himself as capable of portraying more than the lovable but unserious characters of his previous starring roles. In a parallel arc, director Kathryn Bigelow’s career also sees a shift beginning with Point Break , establishing her within the traditional action genre as a serious director capable of creating high-action and visually memorable films. While Point Break leaves plenty to be desired in terms of dialogue, it afforded Bigelow and Reeves the opportunities to showcase themselves and their talent in new ways that still echo in their work today.

  • Works Cited

Harner, James L.  On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography . 2nd ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2000.

MLA Handbook . 9th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2021.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . 7th ed., American Psychological Association, 2020.

“What Guidance Should I Give My Students for Preparing an Annotated Bibliography?” The MLA Style Center , The Modern Language Association, 4 Nov. 2016, style.mla.org/annotated-bibliographies/.

Visit our EasyBib Twitter feed to discover more citing tips, fun grammar facts, and the latest product updates.

Published October 18, 2015. Updated July 25, 2021.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and is the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

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An annotated bibliography is a list containing complete information of sources, such as journals, books, and reports, cited in the text. In addition, it provides a brief description of each source in about 100–150 words. The annotation can explain the topics covered in the source or evaluate the source. The main objective of giving the annotation is to provide the reader the importance, accuracy, and value of the source.

An example of an annotated bibliography in APA style is given below.

Lim, L. (2014). Ideology, rationality and reproduction in education: A critical discourse analysis. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35 (1), 61–76. https://doi:10.1080/01596306.2012.739467

Lim (2014) focuses on issues of power and ideology dominant in curricular discourses of rationality to study a discourse analysis of the goals of one of the most important curricula in the teaching of thinking. He proves that political and class commitments are reproduced in the forms of thinking that are valued in societies. Through his research, Lim asserts that such curricula engage in making our understanding of what thinking and rationality are. It must facilitate the social reproduction of a specific proportion of the middle class.

If you want to evaluate or provide a description of a source you are citing, you can create an annotated bibliography. Write your annotation in 100–150 words and add it below the source for which you are providing your annotation. Remember, your annotation should provide the reader the importance, accuracy, and value of the source. Below are the guidelines and rules to be followed while writing an annotated bibliography for APA style:

Order your reference entries in alphabetical order, similar to how you would order entries in the reference list.

If you want to add an annotation to an entry, add it as a fresh paragraph below the reference entry. The annotation is indented 0.5 inches from the left margin. However, the first line of the annotation is not indented.

To format the annotated bibliography, follow the recommendations given below:

Set the left, right, top, and bottom margins to 1 inch.

Give double-line spacing.

Title the page “Annotated Bibliography.” Set it in bold.

The title should be aligned to the center of the page.

As you format reference entries, left-align all references in the annotated bibliography section. If any entry runs over more than a line, indent the subsequent lines 0.5 inch from the left margin.

Arrange all reference entries alphabetically according to the surname of the authors.

Provide your annotations below the reference entry for which you want to give your annotation. Indent annotations 0.5 inches from the left margin.

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    Citation Examples | Books, Articles, Websites & More. Published on April 9, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on January 17, 2024. The most common citation styles are APA and MLA. To cite a source in these styles, you need a brief in-text citation and a full reference. Use the interactive tool to understand how a citation is structured and see ...

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    MLA in-text citation examples. For MLA, in-text citations use only the author's last name and the page number or timestamp, without abbreviations or commas. (Last name #) (Goldacre 60) MLA citation examples: Book. To cite a book in MLA, you need the author's name, book title, place of publication, publisher's name, and the date of ...

  3. How to Write a Bibliography, With Examples

    Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication. Date. If the cited book was published prior to 1900, is from a publisher with offices in multiple countries, or is from a publisher that is largely unknown in the US, include the book's city of publication. Otherwise, this can be left out.

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    Harvard Style Bibliography | Format & Examples. Published on 1 May 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 7 November 2022. In Harvard style, the bibliography or reference list provides full references for the sources you used in your writing. A reference list consists of entries corresponding to your in-text citations.

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