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Holy Spirit Library Citation Guide: Parts of a Citation

Summaries of APA, MLA, and University of Chicago style guides for in-text and bibliographic citations.

Types of Online Identifiers

DOI” is an acronym that stands for “Digital Object Identifier”.  It has become in the last twenty years one of the most durable standards for locating journal articles, reports, and other scholarly work in the Internet.

According to the International DOI Foundation, “A DOI name is permanently assigned to an object to provide a resolvable persistent network link to current information about that object, including where the object, or information about it, can be found on the Internet. While information about an object can change over time, its DOI name will not change.”

Education-related articles may have an ED or EJ number, also a unique number, in this case assigned by the US Department of Education when the item is listed in its ERIC database.  Numbers beginning with EJ indicate journal articles; ED numbers indicate standalone documents.  EBSCOhost also packages the ERIC database, with more full-text access than the government’s version.

A webpage or article can also be identified by its web address or URL (uniform resource locator).  However, this is subject to change.  A permalink (a.k.a. persistent link, stable link, or durable link) is a more stable URL.  If the article or webpage you want to cite has a tool that will give you a permalink, use that URL in your citation.  Otherwise, use the URL you have where it is called for.


Parts of a Citation of a Journal Article

This is a typical record of a journal article found on a journal and magazine database, in this case EBSCOhost's Health Source Nursing/Academic:

Parts of a Citation of a Web Page

A web PAGE is a portion of a larger web SITE, like an article is part of a journal or an essay or chapter is part of a book.  The author and date info on the web page below are easy to find, but often you must look more deeply for this info.  Use the last updated date of the web site in the absence of any other date attribution.

Parts of a Citation of a Print Book

This is the title page from a print book:


This is the book's copyright page, located in back of the title page

How to Create a Hanging Indent

Instead of individually indenting each line in your Works Cited list, and creating format problems when you edit the text, try this approach in Microsoft Word:

  1. Type in all your citations.
  2. Highlight the area where you wish to apply a hanging indent.
  3. Right-click the highlighted area.
  4. Choose "Paragraph" from the menu that appears.
  5. The default tab is Indents and Spacing.  In the "Special" drop-down menu, choose "Hanging".

Your highlighted text will now have hanging indents and will retain this format when you edit.

Eleanor Goldberg of Delaware County Community College has created these .gif videos demonstrating another way to create an MS Word hanging indent, as well as a Google Docs hanging indent.