3. Citing Resources: The 411 - What information do you need?
Although there are dozens of citation styles, each style requires much of the same general information to be included in a citation. The differences occur when it comes to formatting that information. It is important to remember that these are called style guides for a reason: they are guides, not laws. Not every single type of media you might use will be detailed in the style guides. In these cases, simply refer to the guidelines for similar sources and use your best judgment.
Special note about electronic sources: technology is continually changing, but citation style guides do not change as quickly. This means it can be difficult to figure out what the approved standard is for citing new media sources.
If you ever have any questions about citations, always ask your instructor, ask a librarian, visit the CSTW Writing Center, or visit the University Libraries/CSTW Writing Center research and writing tutoring center.
- Special note about URLs (i.e., website addresses): some citation styles require a URL for any online source, but some do not require the inclusion of URLs in citations. You should always have the URL handy even if the citation style you’re using does not require it.
So what do you actually need to find in order to create an accurate citation?