Anatomy of a Citation
Most citations are of the following two types:

  • An article in a journal
  • A book

While citation styles may differ a little, you should be able to tell which it is by looking for a few specific things. Almost all citations include author, year of publication, the title of the book or article, and (if it is a journal article) the name of the journal. Journal citations will also include information about the volume and issue.

Below is an example of a book citation in APA format.


Here is the same citation in MLA format:

Note that they contain essentially the same information, but just format it in different places. For books you will notice that the book title is in italics for both formats. If you see a citation with this format and want to see if the library has it, please use the library catalog.

Note: you will probably have the best results if you search by either Author or Title in the dropdown box next to the search text. If you do not find it, you can search in WorldCat to see if another library has it and we may be able to request this via interlibrary loan.

Journal Articles
Journal Articles look a little different. These will usually include the author, the year, the title of the article, the name of the journal and its volume and issue information.

Here is a sample article in APA format:

Here is the same citation in MLA format:

Though you can see some clear variations between these two formats, the basic information is consistent. In this particular case, the journal title will be in italics. For the purpose of finding a specific article, you will want to pay attention to the journal title

This is what you will use to search using our journal locator. Please note that often a journal will have a subtitle; in most cases you will want to search for only the first part of the title, as the subtitle may not be indexed (e.g. in the above example search for “Humor” and leave off the part after the colon “:”).