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Instructions for Source Cards/Works Cited Entries

Once you have found the sources you intend to use, you will need to identify them for your reader.

Please note that there is a wide variety of sources you may use for a research paper. This page includes instructions for those most commonly used by high school students.

If you need help with other types of sources check the links listed below or ask your teacher for guidance.

These guidelines are based on the MLA format. Be aware that there are other formats that a teacher may ask you to use. The differences tend to be in conventions such as punctuation and order as well as in formatting, not in content.

Books
BOOK CARDS/WORKS CITED ENTRIES may include some or all of the information listed below. Items in capital letters are what appears on most cards

  1. THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS [if available] (followed by a period)
    last name, first name for first author
    second author's name is not inverted
  2. TITLE (followed by a period)
    in italics or underlined
  3. editor, translator, compiler, if any (followed by a period)
    name is not inverted
  4. PLACE OF THE BOOK'S PUBLICATION (followed by a colon)
  5. THE NAME OF THE BOOK'S PUBLISHER (followed by a comma)
  6. DATE OF THE BOOK'S PUBLICATION (followed by a period)

See sample Book Source Card.

Magazines/Newspapers
Write a separate card for each article from a MAGAZINE, NEWSPAPER, OR JOURNAL. Articles sometimes have no author. If author's name is missing, begin with the title of the article.

  1. THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS [if available] (followed by a period)
    last name, first name
    second author's name is not inverted
  2. THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE (followed by a period placed inside quotation marks)
    in quotoation marks
  3. THE TITLE OF THE PERIODICAL
    in italics or underlined
  4. THE DATE OF THE ISSUE IN WHICH THE ARTICLE APPEARS (followed by a colon)
  5. THE PAGES ON WHICH THE ARTICLE YOU ARE REFERRING TO APPEARS (followed by a period)

See sample Magazine/Newspaper Source Cards.

Encyclopedias (any other alphabetically arranged reference book)
General encyclopedias are good sources for background information on a topic. They are not considered strong sources for good research papers. As you become more experienced in doing research, you should rely less on this type of source.

Many high school teachers and college professors will not accept a general encyclopedia, like the World Book Encyclopedia as a source.

Specialized encyclopedias, such as The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, or the Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds are acceptable sources.

  1. THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR OR EDITORS [if available] (followed by a period)
    last name, first name
    second author's name is not inverted
  2. THE TITLE OF THE PART OF THE WORK USED in quotation marks (followed by a period placed inside quotation marks)
  3. THE TITLE OF THE ENCYCLOPEDIA
    in italics or underlined (followed by a period)
  4. THE YEAR OF THE EDITION (followed by a period)

See sample Encyclopedia Source Cards.

Internet/Web
There are many pieces of information that may be used to document resources from the Worldwide Web. Listed below is the information that is considered essential if it is available. Again, there may not be an author. Be sure to print or save a copy of any web source you plan to use; then you will have any more information you may need.

  1. THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS [if available] (followed by a period)
    last name, first name
    second author's name is not inverted
  2. THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE OR SECTION OF THE SITE
    in quotoation marks (followed by a period placed inside quotation marks)
  3. THE TITLE OF WEB SITE
    in italics or underlined
  4. THE NAME OR THE ORGANIZATION OR GROUP ASSOCIATED WITH OR SPONSORING THE PAGE (followed by a period)
  5. THE DATE THE SITE WAS CREATED OR REVISED OR THE COPYRIGHT DATE. (followed by a period)
  6. THE DATE YOU VIEWED THE SITE
  7. <THE URL ADDRESS> in < > (followed by a period)

See sample Internet/Web Source Card.

INFOTRAC
Articles located by INFOTRAC or other similar electronic collections are usually published somewhere else; therefore, the entry begins like an entry for the original source (usually a magazine, newspaper, or journal). This information is then followed by the INFOTRAC information.

  1. THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS [if available] (followed by a period)
    last name, first name
    second author"s name is not inverted
  2. THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE (followed by a period placed inside quotation marks)
    in quotoation marks
  3. THE TITLE OF THE PERIODICAL
    in italics or underlined
  4. THE DATE OF THE ISSUE IN WHICH THE ARTICLE APPEARS (followed by a colon)
  5. THE PAGES ON WHICH THE ARTICLE YOU ARE REFERRING TO APPEARS (followed by a period)
  6. INFOTRAC (followed by a period)
  7. NORWOOD SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARY (followed by a comma)
  8. NORWOOD, MA (followed by a period)
  9. THE DATE YOU VIEWED THE SITE
  10. <http://www.galegroup.com/> (followed by a period)

See sample INFOTRAC Source Card.

See sample source cards for a Television or Video Source.

For more information on source cards, visit the following web sites:
http://webster.commnet.edu/mla.htm
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sources/contents.html
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_mla.html

Sample Source Cards

Book Source Card Magazine Source Card Newspaper Source Card TV Show Source Card Internet/Web Source Card INFOTRAC Source Card
Encyclopedia Source Card


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