How to Cite a Journal Article | APA, MLA, & Chicago Examples

To cite an article from an academic journal, you need an in-text citation and a corresponding reference listing the name(s) of the author(s), the publication date, the article title and journal name, the volume and issue numbers, the page range, and the URL or DOI.

Different citation styles present this information differently. The main citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago style.

You can use the interactive example generator to explore the format for APA and MLA journal article citations.

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How to Cite a Website | MLA, APA & Chicago Examples

To cite a page from a website, you need a short in-text citation and a corresponding reference stating the author’s name, the date of publication, the title of the page, the website name, and the URL.

This information is presented differently in different citation styles. APA, MLA, and Chicago are the most commonly used styles.

Use the interactive example generator below to explore APA and MLA website citations.

Note that the format is slightly different for citing YouTube and other online video platforms, or for citing an image.

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How to Cite a Book | APA, MLA, & Chicago Examples

To cite a book, you need a brief in-text citation and a corresponding reference listing the author’s name, the title, the year of publication, and the publisher. The order and format of information depends on the citation style you’re using. The most common styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago style.

Use the interactive example generator to explore the format of book citations in MLA and APA.

If the book is an edited collection of works by different authors (e.g. essays or stories), you should cite the relevant chapter, followed by details of the whole book.

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How to cite a government website or report in APA Style

APA Style doesn’t provide a special format for citing government documents. Instead, you should determine what kind of source you’re dealing with—usually a report or a web page—and use the appropriate format.

To cite a government web page that doesn’t list an individual author, use the following format, listing the name of the government organization in the author position. If the name listed in the author position is the same as the website name (as in the example here), only list it once.

APA format Organization Name. (Year, Month Day). Page title. Site Name. URL
APA reference entry Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2021, January 29). Protecting workers: Guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework
APA in-text citation (Occupational Safety and Health Organization, 2021)

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How to cite a law in APA Style

To cite federal laws (also commonly referred to as statutes or acts) in APA Style, include the name of the law, “U.S.C.” (short for United States Code), the title and section of the code where the law appears, the year, and optionally the URL.

The year included is when the law was published in the source consulted, not when it was passed, amended, or supplemented.

APA format Name of Law, Title number U.S.C. § Section number (Year). URL
APA reference entry Anti-Smuggling Act, 19 U.S.C. § 1701 (1935). https://www.loc.gov/item/uscode1958-004019005/
APA in-text citation (Anti-Smuggling Act, 1935)

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How to cite a court case in APA Style

Legal citations (e.g. court cases, laws) in APA Style look somewhat different from other APA citations. They generally don’t list authors, and abbreviations are used to make them more concise.

Citations for court cases refer to reporters, the publications in which cases are documented. To cite a court case or decision, list the name of the case, the volume and abbreviated name of the reporter, the page number, the name of the court, the year, and optionally the URL.

The case name is italicized in the in-text citation, but not in the reference list. In the reference, specify only a single page number—the page where the coverage of that case begins—instead of a full page range.

APA format Name v. Name, Volume number Reporter Page number (Court Year). URL
APA reference entry Thorne v. Deas, 4 Johns. 84 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1809). https://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/torts/torts-keyed-to-dobbs/contract-and-duty/thorne-v-deas/
APA in-text citation (Thorne v. Deas, 1809)

Format variations for specific levels of court are explained in the sections below.

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How to cite a magazine article in APA Style

To cite a print magazine article in APA Style, list the author’s name, the publication date, the article title, the magazine name, the volume and issue numbers if available, and the page range of the article.

APA format Last name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Article title. Magazine Name, Volume(Issue), page range.
APA reference entry Mogelson, L. (2021, January 25). The storm. The New Yorker, 5–12.
APA in-text citation (Mogelson, 2021)
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The same format is used for a magazine found in a database, since APA recommends against including database information in your reference entries.

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How to cite the Constitution in MLA

To cite the Constitution of the United States in MLA style, include information about where you accessed it in the Works Cited entry. In the in-text citation, use article/amendment and section numbers instead of page numbers.

The example below shows how to cite an online version of the constitution.

MLA format Page Title. Website Name, Publisher, Day Month Year, URL. or URL.
MLA Works Cited entry The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription. National Archives, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 4 May 2020, www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript.
MLA in-text citation (“Constitution of the United States,” art. 1, sec. 4)

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How to cite Shakespeare in MLA

The works of Shakespeare, like many plays, have consistently numbered acts, scenes, and lines. These numbers should be used in your MLA in-text citations, separated by periods, instead of page numbers.

The Works Cited entry follows the format for a book, but varies depending on whether you cite from a standalone edition or a collection. The example below is for a standalone edition of Hamlet.

If you cite multiple Shakespeare plays in your paper, replace the author’s name with an abbreviation of the play title in your in-text citation.

MLA format Shakespeare, William. Play Title. Edited by Editor first name Last name, Publisher, Year.
MLA Works Cited entry Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Edited by G. R. Hibbard, Oxford UP, 2008.
MLA in-text citation (Shakespeare 5.2.201–204) or (Ham. 1.2.321–324)

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How to cite the Bible in MLA

MLA in-text citations of the Bible differ from other book citations in that they list the book, chapter, and verse rather than the page number.

In the Works Cited entry, it’s important to list the version of the Bible you used, not just “The Bible.” Include a URL if you accessed an online version of the Bible.

MLA format Bible Title. Edited by Editor first name Last name, Publisher, Year, URL.
MLA Works Cited entry The ESV Bible. Crossway, 2001, www.esv.org/.
MLA in-text citation (ESV Bible, Matt. 1.2)

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