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There are certain basic things you need to cite just about any source, using just about any format:
- The AUTHOR (or creator) of the work. This may be one person, many people, or a group or organization.
- The TITLE OF THE WORK itself. For example, the article title, the book title, the chapter title, etc.
- The JOURNAL or the PUBLISHER. For an article, you include the name of the specific magazine or journal. For a book, the publishing house.
- The PUBLICATION DATE.
There are also certain things that must be included for specific types of works. For example, for an article or a book chapter, you would provide page numbers. For a website, you would provide the URL.
The moment when you are most likely to have easy access to all of this information? When you find it in the first place. Know then what you need to take note of to cite it effectively later.
Cite your sources using the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Use the author-date method described in section 15.5 of the manual.
There is a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style at the Information Desk in the Valley Library and there is a copy in the collection you can check out at Z253 .U69 2010.
Many of the databases provide citation assistance. Take a look for the icon or link to "Cite this article" or "Choose a bibliographic style." These sometimes only show up when you go to print, save, or email the article, and different databases use different terminology.
Always check your references for accuracy! Database citation "machines," while a great help, often get the little things wrong, so review the citation before you add it to your bibliography.
There are some online sources to help you: