Citing References

When you see a painting by Van Gogh, you know it is a Van Gogh. Although, sometimes when we see a piece of art, it is necessary to look at the signature to discover who created the work. Often, artists create pieces that are inspired from other artist’s work as well. However, it is still important for the artist to recognize the source of inspiration.

This is true for literary sources as well. When we read or listen to a literary piece and take a quote to include in our own writing, it is necessary to cite a reference indicating the original source and author. By doing so, the author is not plagiarizing. Being able to “cite a reference” is an important skill as a writer, as plagiarizing work means you are copying someone’s writing and taking credit. Writers also need to source their information to validate their facts. It is a necessary feature in proving to the reader that statements are accurate.

There are different formats to follow when citing references, however the main objective is to allow the reader to be able to directly access the original source.  Therefore, it is important to avoid quoting references from sources that are no longer accessible either via the internet or library.

The specific type of citing style to use is based on preference. One style of citing references is called the APA style outlined in the American Psychological Association guide and is commonly used in the fields of education and psychology. Whereas the MLA style is preferred in the field of literature and is short for Modern Language Association. An important aspect of citing references is to remain consistent in usage throughout the bibliography. Both styles for citing a book include the name of the author, title of the work, date of publishing, name of publisher, and where the book was published. It also matters if you are quoting a book, magazine, or blog post as more information is required for a magazine versus a book.

Click here for examples on citing magazines, websites, and blog posts using both the MLA and APA style.

Here is an example of citing the same book using the APA versus the MLA style:

Citing Book References:

APA Style: Author’s last name, author’s first initial. (Date published). Book title (Edition). City: Publisher. 

Example (APA): Brett, J. (1989). The mittens: a Ukranian folktale. New York: Putnam.

MLA Style: Author’s last name, author’s first Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date: 

Example (MLA): Brett, J. The Mittens: A Ukranian Folktale. New York: Putnam, 1989.

Digmore Student library – World Book Kids:

World Book Kids found in our Digmore student e-library has a helpful feature for students learning how to cite references. At the bottom of articles, the citation (in both APA and MLA style) is included for students to use in their bibliography when they are using material found in World Book Kids.

Image References:

“Study of the Sky, Eugene Boudin.” Google Images. Accessed Feb. 22, 2017.

“The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh.” Google Images. Accessed Feb. 22, 2017.

“Vincent van Gogh’s 152nd Birthday.” Google Images. Accessed Feb. 22, 2017.