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Following a Citation Trail

Reading a Citation

A citation tells you enough basic information to go and find the item. It does not matter which citation style was used (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). Different citation styles put the information in different orders. So, it is important to read the citation carefully to figure out what your item is.
** Key Information
Eskildsen, R. "Of Civilization and Savages: the Mimetic Imperialism of Japan's 1874 Expedition to Taiwan." American Historical Review. v. 107.2 (2002): 388-418.
  To what does it refer? Journal article
  How can I tell?:
  1. Article author (Eskildsen)
  2. Article title (Of Civilization and Savages...)
  3. Journal title (American Historical Review)
  4. Journal's volume (107) and issue numbers (2) ** (Note: this information may be formatted differently, but it is usually in he same order - volume/issue)
  5. Year the article was published (2002)
  6. Pages of the article (388-418)
MacMillan, M. Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York: Random House, 2002.
  To what does it refer? Book
  How can I tell?:
  1. Author (MacMillan)
  2. Title (Paris 1919...)
  3. Place of publication (New York) **
  4. Publisher (Random House) **
  5. Publication Date (2002)
Diamond, J. "Historic Extinctions: A Rosetta Stone for Understanding Prehistoric Extinctions." In Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. Ed., Paul S. Martin and Richard G. Klein. Tucson, AZ: University of Tuscan Press, 1984. 824-862.
  To what does it refer? Book chapter
  How can I tell?:
  1. Chapter author (Diamond)
  2. Chapter title (Historic Extinctions...)
  3. The word "In" before the book title (Quaternary Extinctions...) **
  4. The word "Ed." precedes the book's editor (Martin and Klein). **
  5. Place of publication (Tucson)
  6. Publisher (University of Tuscan Press)
  7. Publication Date (1984)
  8. Chapter's pages (824-862)
Dyer, Gwynne. "Why is Japan rich, China so poor? Historic Chinese struggle to preserve nation's unity may be the key." The Gazette. Oct. 2, 1987, Final Edition, B3.
  To what does it refer? Newspaper article
  How can I tell?:
  1. Article author (Dyer)
  2. Article title (Why is Japan rich...)
  3. Newspaper title (The Gazette)
  4. Full date (Oct. 2, 1987) **
  5. Section page (B3) **
Reed Institute. Formosa Index. 1999. Reed College. 18 Mar. 2004 .
< >.
  To what does it refer? Website
  How can I tell?:
  1. Author of webpage - if applicable/available (Reed Institute)
  2. Title of webpage (Formosa Index)
  3. Copyright date/date webpage was last updated (1999)
  4. Name of organization/institution affiliated with the site (Reed College)
  5. Date that the researcher viewed the webpage (18 Mar. 2004)
  6. URL < > **