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HI 2335: Topics in the History of American Science and Technology: Citation Guidance

Citation Guidance

Why Do We Cite Our Sources?

By citing your sources you:

  • Give credit to others for their ideas (avoid plagiarism)
  • Demonstrate to your reader how your own ideas stem from, differ from, or relate to those in your sources
  • Distinguish your ideas from the ideas of others
  • Lend credibility to your own work by citing credible sources
  • Assist your reader, who may want to find the sources that you used

When To Cite Your Sources

You must provide a citation when:

  • Quoting directly from a source (copying the words of another)
  • Paraphrasing ideas or information from a source (rewriting a passage in your own words)
  • Incorporating into your paper information or ideas that are not general knowledge

What's In A Citation

Citations at the end of your paper should always tell you:

  • Who wrote the source? Who is the author, editor, artist, or organization behind the work? For a book, the citation will also include information about who published the source.
  • What is it called? What is the title of the book, article, website, photograph, etc.?
  • When was the source was published? What is the date of publication?
  • Where can your reader find the source? For a journal article, what journal is published in? For online sources, what is the URL or DOI (digital object identifier)?

Citation styles vary in how they present this information, but generally, these elements are always included.

Video: Introductions to Citations

This video provides a brief introductions to what citations are, why we use citations, when to cite, what a citation includes, and an overview of which citation styles are used by different disciplines. 

Chicago Style Citations

The Chicago NB (Notes & Bibliography) system is often used in History scholarship and provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through footnote or endnote citation in their writing and through bibliography pages. It also offers writers an outlet for commenting on those cited sources. 

Resources to Help with Chicago Citations

To see examples of what Chicago style citations should look like for different source types, check out the following websites. These websites provide guidance on how to format footnotes and bibliography entries for a variety of source types. 

The Chicago Manual of Style

Video: Chicago Citations

Run Time: 2:54

Key Student Learning Competencies: 

  • When & Why for Using Chicago (0:25)
  • Chicago In-Text Citations (0:32)
  • Chicago In-Text Footnotes: Books (0:50)
  • Chicago In-Text Footnotes: Journals (1:25)
  • Chicago Bibliographies (1:58)
  • More Resources (2:31)


You should include a footnote each time you use a source, whether through a direct quote or through a paraphrase or summary.

Formatting Footnotes:

  • Note numbers should begin with “1” and follow consecutively throughout a given paper. Each new citation gets a new number, even if you have already cited that source.
  • In the text, a superscript number corresponding to the note should be placed in the text when you reference information in a source. Note numbers should be placed at the end of the clause or sentence to which they refer and should be placed after any and all punctuation.  
  • Write the footnotes in the footer of the page on which the source is referenced. The footnote should begin with the same number used in the text of the paper. The first note for each source should include all relevant information about the source: full name(s) of the author(s), source title, and facts of publication. If you cite the same source again, the note need only include the surname(s) of the author(s), a shortened form of the title (if more than four words), and page number(s).
  • For each footnote, include the page number(s) for where you found the information you are citing. If the source does not have page numbers, cite the  chapter number, section heading, or paragraph number.
  • If you wish to include commentary on the source, place the commentary after the citation in the footnote. Separate the citation and the commentary with a period. 



In the Chicago NB system, the bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all sources used in a given work. This page, most often titled Bibliography, is usually placed at the end of the work. It should include all sources cited within the work.

Although bibliographic entries for various sources may be formatted differently, all included sources (books, articles, websites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed on a source, the title of that source may be used instead for alphabetization in the bibliography. 

Common Elements

Entries in the bibliography generally include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title, and publication information. The publication information includes the publication date. For books, include the city of publication and the name of the publisher. For journal articles, include the name of the journal. For journal articles, also include the volume number, issue number, and page range if this information is available. For online sources, include a DOI (digital object identifier) or URL. 

Author’s Names

The first author’s name is inverted in the bibliography, placing the last name first and separating the last name and first name with a comma; for example, John Smith becomes Smith, John. (If an author is not listed first, this applies to compilers, translators, etc.) If there is more than one author, write the first author's name as Surname, First Name. Write the other author's names as First Name Surname. 


Titles of books and journals are italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, webpages, etc. are placed in quotation marks.

Publication Information

The year of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name.


In a bibliography, all major elements are separated by periods.

Formatting the Bibliography:

  • Label your comprehensive list of sources at the end of your paper as “Bibliography.”
  • Start the bibliography on a new page at the end of your paper. 
  • Leave two blank lines between “Bibliography” and your first entry. 
  • Leave one blank line between remaining entries. 
  • List entries in letter-by-letter alphabetical order according to the first word in each entry. 
  • Authors:
    • Use “and,” not an ampersand (&) for multi-author entries. 
    • For two to three authors, write out all names. 
    • For four to ten authors, write out all names in the bibliography but only the first author’s name plus “et al.” in footnotes. 
    • When a source has no identifiable author, cite it by its title.
  • Write out publishers’ names in full. 
  • Do not use access dates unless publication dates are unavailable.  
  • If you cannot ascertain the publication date of a printed work, use the abbreviation “n.d.”
  • If you cannot ascertain the publication date of an online work, write the date that you accessed that work. 
  • Provide DOIs (digital object identifiers) instead of URLs whenever possible

APA Citations

APA citations were developed by the American Psychological Association and are commonly used in the social sciences.

Resources to Help with APA Style Citations

Video: APA In-Text Citations

Run Time: 2:55

Key Student Learning Competencies: 

  • Paraphrasing Citations--Parenthetical and Narrative (0:30)
  • Direct Quotations In-Text (1:20)
  • In-Text Citations for Organizations (1:59)
  • In-Text Citations for Personal Comminucations & Interviews (2:25)

Video: APA Reference Lists

Run Time: 2:38

Key Student Learning Competencies: 

  • General Elements of Ref List Entries (0:42)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Books (1:03)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Newspapers (1:27)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Academic Journal Articles (1:42)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Web Pages (1:58)
  • APA Ref List Entries: Organizations as Authors (2:18)

APA Citation Examples


Basic Format for a Book:

  • Reference List: Authors' Last name, First Initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. (Edition) [if other than the 1st]. Publisher. DOI [if the book has one]
  • In-text: (Author, Year)

   - Book with One Author:

  • Reference List: Brader, T. (2006). Campaigning for hearts and minds: How emotional appeals in political ads work. University of Chicago Press. 
  • In-text: (Brader, 2006)

   - ​Book with Two Authors:

  • Reference List: Miller, T. E., & Schuh, J. H. (2005). Promoting reasonable expectations: Aligning student and institutional views of the college experience. Jossey-Bass.
  • In-text: (Miller & Schuh, 2005)

  - For more than two authors (three or more), list only the first author’s name followed by “et al.” in every citation, even the first, unless doing so would create ambiguity between different sources. Example: (Kernis et al., 1993)

Book Chapters

Basic Format for a Book Chapter:

  • Reference List: Authors' Last name, First Initial. (Year). Title of chapter. In Names of Editors (Eds.), Book title: Subtitle (page range for chapter). Publisher. DOI [if the chapter has one]
  • In-text: (Author, Year)

   - Example of a Book Chapter Citation:

  • Reference List: Lei, S. H. (2011). Sovereignty and the microscope: Constituting notifiable infectious disease and containing the Manchurian plague (1910–11). In A. K. C. Leung & C. Furth (Eds.), Health and hygiene in Chinese East Asia: Policies and publics in the long twentieth century (pp. 73-106). Duke University Press.
  • In-text: (Lei, 2011)


Basic Format for an Online Article:

  • Author’s Last Name, First Initial. (Year). Article title. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, Volume number(Issue number), Page numbers. doi or URL of publication home page

   - Online Journal Article with DOI Assigned:

  • Basic Format: 
    • Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range.
  • Example:
    • Denhart, H. (2008). Deconstructing barriers: Perceptions of students labeled with learning disabilities in higher education. Journal of Learning Disabilities41(6), 483-497.

   - Online Journal Article with no DOI Assigned:

  • Basic Format:
    • Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number).
  • Example: 
    • von Busch, O., & Palmas, K. (2016). Designing consent: Can design thinking manufacture democratic capitalism? Organizational Aesthetics, 5(2), 10-24.

   - Newspaper Article Found on a Newspaper's Website:

  • Basic Format:
    • Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Title of Newspaper. 
  • Example:
    • Zernike, K. (2016, February 29). Testing for joy and grit? Schools nationwide push to measure students’ emotional skills. The New York Times. 


Basic Format for citing an image in the Reference List:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year image was created). Title of work [Type of work]. URL 

Note: If you can only find the screen name of an author, use that as the author's name. Maintain the formatting of the screen name. For example, if a screen name is in all lower case, keep the name in lower case in your citations. If there is no title, create your own title that describes the content of the image.

Example of a Reference List citation for an image: 

Formatting Figures in Your Paper:

Each image in your paper should have a figure number, a title, and a caption. The caption should describe the image, provide a citation for the image, and provide copyright information. For example:

Figure 1

Two Cats Resting

           Two orange cats sleeping next to each other

Note. This photo shows two orange cats resting in the "loaf" position. From Nap time [Photograph], by D. Sipler, 2005, Flickr ( CC BY 2.0.

If you have taken the photo or created the image, you do not need to cite it or provide copyright information for it. You will still need to label the picture with a figure number and title, and you will need to provide a caption with information on what the image shows. 

For more information on formatting tables and figures in your APA style paper, see:


Zotero is a free open-source citation manager that can help you organize your sources and generate citations. Go to to create a Zotero account and download Zotero. You can use any of your email addresses to create your account. You need to download Zotero in order to fully use it.

You can find additional support documents on Zotero's website:

Group Libraries

Go to to create a group library. One person from your team should create the group and then invite the other team members to join. 

Add Sources to Zotero

There are multiple ways to add sources to your Zotero library. 

1. Use the Zotero browser extension. 

  • In the Zotero desktop app, go to Tools and select "Install Browser Connector." Or go to
  • You can install the Zotero browser connector in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. 
  • Once you have added the browser connector, you can use it to save online sources to your Zotero library. When you find an online source that you want to save, click on the Zotero browser connector symbol.


  • A Zotero box will pop up. Select the library and folder that you would like to add the source too. Use the arrow buttons in the Zotero pop up to find your libraries and folders. Then click done.
  • Zotero generally works well with academic sources, like journal articles and ebooks. It works for some webpages, but, some webpages don't provide any information that Zotero can recognize. If that happens, add the webpage manually to your Zotero library. 

2.  Add a source manually.

  • In the Zotero desktop app, click on the green plus sig


  • From the drop-down menu, select the type of source you are adding (book, journal article, etc.)
  • Then fill in the information about that source (author, title, date, etc.) 

3. Add a pdf

  • If you have a pdf of an article saved to your computer, you can click and drag the pdf into Zotero. Zotero is often (but not always) able to read the metadata of the pdf and create a record for the article. 

Learn more about adding items to Zotero:

Create Citations using Zotero

1. GoogleDocs

  • You need to have the Zotero app open on your computer. 
  • You need to have the Zotero Connector installed in Chrome or Firefox to use Zotero in GoogleDocs. 

    The Zotero Connector adds a Zotero menu to the Google Docs interface: 

  • Add/Edit Citation: Add a new citation or edit an existing citation in your document at the cursor location.

    • The first time you select this option, a pop-up will ask you to log in to your Zotero account. 

    • Then another pop-up will ask you to select your citation style. 

    • Then a red box will appear where you can search for the source you wish to cite (start typing in the author or title to see a drop-down list of sources that match your search). 

    • If you do not see the red Zotero search box, click on the Zotero icon at the bottom of your desktop to bring it up

  • Add/Edit Bibliography: Insert a bibliography. (You must already have at least one in-text citation in your document before you can add the bibliography. As you add in-text citations for new sources, those sources will also be added to your bibliography.)

  • Learn more about using Zotero with GoogleDocs:

2. Word

  • In Zotero, go to Tools and select Add-ons to find and enable the Word plug-in. 
  • Installing the Zotero Word plugin adds a Zotero tab to Microsoft Word. The Zotero tab has options for Add/Edit Citation and Add/Edit Bibliography.
  • Add/Edit Citation: Add a new citation or edit an existing citation in your document at the cursor location.

    • A pop-up will ask you to select your citation style. 

    • Then a red box will appear where you can search for the source you wish to cite (start typing in the author or title to see a drop-down list of sources that match your search). 

    • If you do not see the red Zotero search box, click on the Zotero icon at the bottom of your desktop to bring it up

  • Add/Edit Bibliography: Insert a bibliography. (You must already have at least one in-text citation in your document before you can add the bibliography. As you add in-text citations for new sources, those sources will also be added to your bibliography.)

  • Learn more about the Zotero Word plug-in:

3. Right-Click to Create Citation/Bibliography

  • To create a bibliography or a citations list in Zotero, highlight one or more references and then right-click (or control-click on Macs) to select “Create Bibliography from Selected Item(s)…”. Then select a citation style for your citation/bibliography format and choose either to create a list of Citations/Notes or a Bibliography. Then choose one of the following four ways to create your citation/bibliography:
    • Save as RTF will allow you to save the bibliography as a rich text file.
    • Save as HTML will allow you to save the bibliography as a HTML file for viewing in a web browser. 
    • Copy to Clipboard will allow you to save the bibliography to your clipboard to paste into any text field.
    • Print will send your bibliography straight to a printer.
  • Learn more about creating bibliographies with Zotero:


ZoteroBib is free online citation generator. It is useful for quickly generating a citation that you can copy and paste. You do not need an account, and ZoteroBib will not save your sources. Go to to use ZoteroBib.