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Mining References: What Am I Looking At? Reading References

Building Blocks of a Reference

      The basic components of a reference are:

  • Author
  • Title (for an article, the article title comes first, followed by journal title)
  • Publication information (publisher location/name)
  • Date
  • Page numbers (where applicable)
  • Online access information (where applicable)

Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Holger Zscheyge

Is A Citation to a Primary Source or a Secondary Source?

Is the author citing a primary source or a secondary source?

 

When you are assessing whether a source is a primary source or a secondary source, remember also what each category means:

  • A secondary source is a scholarly source which cites evidence (primary sources) to make its argument.
  • A primary source IS the evidence used to make an argument in a secondary source. (Almost anything can be a primary source!)

One quick way of assessing this is to look at the publication date. The nearer the publication date is to the event or time period being discussed, the more likely it is to be a primary source.

Be aware, though, that sometimes primary sources are reprinted, which may mean that the publication date looks deceptively recent!

Another way to guess is to look up the item and see if the author's birth and death dates are included. If the author cited died in 1892, but the publication date is 1974, it's a good bet that you're looking at a reprint of a primary source.

Chicago Manual of Style: It's Complicated

Chicago Manual of Style uses slightly different styles for footnotes/endnotes and for a bibliography.

  • An article or book published using Chicago Manual of Style will generally always have either footnotes (references at the foot of each page) or endnotes (all the references at the end of the whole article or book).
  • An article or book published using Chicago Manual of Style may or may not have a bibliography (a list of all of the sources cited). If there is a bibliography, it will be at the end of the entire article or book. Entries in a Chicago-style bibliography will be formatted slightly differently from the footnotes/endnotes.

Chicago Citation Basics: Footnotes and Endnotes

BOOK

First and Last Name of Author, Book Title: Subtitle (City/State Where Published: Name of Publisher, Year), page numbers.

Rachel Hope Cleves, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

BOOK CHAPTER

First and Last Name of Author, "Chapter Title," in Book Title: Subtitle, ed. by First and Last Name (City/State Where Published: Name of Publisher, Year), page numbers.

Amanda H. Littauer, “‘Someone to Love’: Teen Girls’ Same-Sex Desire in the 1950s United States,” in Queer 1950s: Rethinking Sexuality in the Postwar Years, ed. Heike Bauer and Matt Cook (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 61–76.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

First and Last Name of Author [only if known], "Article Title" Journal Name Volume Number, Issue Number (Month Year): page numbers, URL [if available electronically].

Valerie Matsumoto, “Redefining Expectations: Nisei Women in the 1930s,” California History 73, no. 1 (1994): 44–53, https://doi.org/10.2307/25177398.

MAGAZINE ARTICLE

First and Last Name of Author [only if known], "Article Title," Magazine Name, Month Day, Year, page number.

Sylvia Plath, “Twelfth Night,” Seventeen, December 1952, 79.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

First and Last Name of Author [only if known], "Article Title," Newspaper Name, Month Day, Year.

Isabel Wilkerson, “36 Years Later, an Integrated Georgia Prom,” New York Times, May 14, 1990.

Chicago Citation Basics: Bibliography

BOOK

Authors Last Name, First Name. Book Title: Subtitle. City/State Where Published: Name of Publisher, Year.

Cleves, Rachel Hope. Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

BOOK CHAPTER

Authors Last Name, First Name. "Chapter Title." In Book Title: Subtitle, page numbers. Edited by First and Last Name. Where Published: Name of Publisher, Year.

Littauer, Amanda H. “‘Someone to Love’: Teen Girls’ Same-Sex Desire in the 1950s United States.” In Queer 1950s: Rethinking Sexuality in the Postwar Years, edited by Heike Bauer and Matt Cook, 61–76. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Last Name, First Name. "Article Title." Journal Name Volume Number, Issue Number (Month Year): page numbers, URL [if available electronically].

Matsumoto, Valerie. “Redefining Expectations: Nisei Women in the 1930s.” California History 73, no. 1 (1994): 44–53. https://doi.org/10.2307/25177398.

MAGAZINE ARTICLE

Last Name, First Name. "Article Title." Magazine Name. Month Day, Year, page numbers.

Plath, Sylvia. “Twelfth Night.” Seventeen, December 1952, 79.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Authors Last Name, First Name [only if known]. " Article Title." Newspaper Name, Month Day, Year.

Wilkerson, Isabel. “36 Years Later, an Integrated Georgia Prom.” New York Times. May 14, 1990.

MLA Citation Basics: In-Line Citations

MLA style uses "in-text citation," meaning that a citation is included in the text, including the author's last name and the relevant page number.

For example: from this sentence with an in-text citation: 

Audre Lorde asserted that "Anger is loaded with information and energy (127)." 

you learn that this quote is on page 127 of a work by Audre Lorde. You could then go to the Works Cited list (organized alphabetically by author last name) to find a work by Lorde to get the full information about the text being cited:

Lorde, Audre. “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.” Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, rev. ed, Crossing Press, 2007, pp. 124–33.

In MLA Style, footnotes and endnotes are used for brief explanatory or digressive notes, which do not necessarily include citations. MLA does allow for bibliographic footnotes/endnotes, which refer to other publications the readers may want to consult. The bibliographic footnotes/endnotes will be keyed to the Works Cited list.

For example, a footnote or endnote might read: "See Ehrenreich, chapter 3, for an insightful analysis of the rise of Playboy magazine."

You could then look at the Works Cited list and find this citation for a book by Barbara Ehrenreich:

Ehrenreich, Barbara. The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment. Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1983.

MLA Citation Basics: Works Cited

BOOK

Author(s) Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.

Hogan, Linda. The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir. W. W. Norton, 2001.

BOOK CHAPTER/WORK IN ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION

Author(s) Last name, First name. "Title of Essay."  Title of Collection, edited by Editor's Name(s), Publisher, Year, Page range of entry.

Fawaz, Ramzi. “Introduction: 'An Open Mesh of Possibilities': The Necessity of Eve Sedgwick in Dark Times.” Reading Sedgwick, edited by Lauren Berlant, Duke University Press, 2019, pp. 6–33.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Author(s) Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, volume, issue, year, pages.

Quashie, Kevin. “To Be (a) One: Notes on Coupling and Black Female Audacity.” Differences, vol. 29, no. 2, Duke University Press, Sept. 2018, pp. 68–95. read-dukeupress-edu.eu1.proxy.openathens.net, doi:10.1215/10407391-6999774.

MAGAZINE ARTICLE

Author(s) Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages.

Kosofsky, Eve. “Curl Up and Read.” Seventeen, vol. 23, no. 1, Jan. 1964, p. 18.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Author(s) [Last Name, First Name]. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, edition if relevant, pages.

Schuessler. “Remembering Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.” New York Times, 15 Apr. 2009, https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/remembering-eve-kosofsky-sedgwick/?_r=0.

APA Citation Basics: In-Text Citations

APA Style uses an "Author-Date" method of in-text citation. The author's last name and the year of the source's publication will appear in the text:

like this: (Harris 2016)

or like this, using a signaling phrase:

Harris (2016) suggests....

If you are directly quoting a source or directly borrowing from it, you should also include the page number(s),

like this: (Harris, 2016, p. 167)

To get more information about the source being cited, you'd then go to the Reference List (organized alphabetically by author) and look for the source by that author with that date:

Harris, C. V. (2016). Still Eating in the Kitchen: The Marginalization of African American Faculty in Majority White Academic Governance. In P. A. Matthew (Ed.), Written/unwritten: Diversity and the hidden truths of tenure (pp. 165–177). University of North Carolina Press.

APA Citation Basics: Works Cited/Bibliography

BOOK

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name. DOI (if available)

Krippendorff, K. (2019). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (4th ed.). SAGE Publications.

BOOK CHAPTER

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor & F. F. Editor (Eds.), Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (pp. pages of chapter). Publisher. DOI (if available)

Davey, J., Saltman, S., & Birdwell, J. (2019). The mainstreaming of far-right extremism on line and how to counter it: A case study on UK, US, and French elections. In L. E. Herman & J. B. Muldoon (Eds.), Trumping the mainstream: The conquest of Democratic politics by the populist radical right (pp. 23-53). Routledge.

JOURNAL ARTICLE

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), page numbers. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

Krippendorff, K. (2011). Agreement and information in the reliability of coding. Communication Methods & Measures, 5(2), 93–112. https://doi.org/10.1080/19312458.2011.568376

MAGAZINE ARTICLE

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year, Month, Day). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), page numbers.

Walsh, J. (2018, November 12). New Georgia rising? Nation, 307(12), 12–18.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

Author, A. A. & Author, B. B. (Year, Month, Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, page numbers. 

Bluestein, G., & Murphy, P. (2020, November 9). National spotlight will be intense with control of Senate at stake. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution, A1.

Still Don't Recognize It?

These sources contain many more examples of references.