How Do I Read a Citation?

     A citation is the information such as author, title, number of pages, and date which identifies a book, article, or web site. A citation is analogous to a home address in that a complete citation or address helps you locate something, and the order of the parts of a citation or address is important.

     As you do your research, keep a list of the information sources such as books, journals, magazines, newspapers, web sites, etc., that you use or that you would like to use. This list will help you:


What are the parts of a citation?

  • Author(s)
  • Publication year
  • Title
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher name




Where can I find the information I need to cite a book?

If you have the book in your hand, find the above information on the title page and the back of the title page. If you don't have the book, search WorldCat for the title and use the information in the Author, Title, Publication, and Year fields.


  • Author(s)
  • Publication year
  • Article title
  • Periodical title
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Issue pages




Where can I find the information I need to cite an article?

Information for an article citation can be found in one of CityU's online databases. Search for the article and look for the author, publication year, article title, periodical title, volume number and issue pages in the online citation.

     Web site

  • Author(s)
  • Publication date
  • Title of the web page
  • URL of the web page




Where can I find the information I need to cite a web site?

The information you need to cite a web site should be available on the web site although author and publication date are not always provided. For example, the publication date was not provided for the web site in the above example, so (n.d.) was used per the APA citation style instructions.


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