A "citation" describes a bibliographic work. The purpose of a citation is to give the reader enough information about the work so that it can be found. An instructor may give you a reading list or you may find citations to valuable articles while researching a topic, so you'll need to know how to find a book or journal article from its citation.
This page is divided into 3 sections:
When you've finished reading/viewing the instructions, try out some practice exercises at the bottom of this page.
Citations to the literature usually contain 5 elements:
How these elements are arranged, what punctuation and/or spacing is used between the elements, when to capitalize words, and what font style to use (regular, bold, italic, etc.) depends on the "Citation Style". There are many types of citation styles, some are general and can be used in many situations while others are specific to an individual journal or a society's publications. The field of engineering as a whole does not favor any particular style but some subfields have a preferred style (ex. in electrical engineering IEEE Style is frequently used). When writing for a class assignment, ask your instructor what is his/her preferred citation style.
The following citation examples are written in APA (American Psychological Association) Style, a general and very commonly used style that works well for many engineering fields. Can you pick out the five elements in each of these citation examples?
Citations for Books:
Citations for Journal Articles:
Books and journal articles can be found in the ASU Library' "Library One Search" database. Start at the Libraries' home page (http://lib.asu.edu) and enter the title of the book or article in the search box.
Now that you've seen how to find the item in the Library One Search database, let's look at how to get from the database to the actual item.
Find the following items by using "Library One Search". How can you tell whether the citation is for a book or journal article?
Note: When you create a bibliography for an assignment, you'll need to follow a consistent citation format as requested by your instructor. For this exercise, the bibliography above purposely uses different formating styles for each item to demonstrate that although the format varies, the elements of a citation (author, title, source, etc.) remain essentially the same - it's just the punctuation and placement of the elements that vary.