How to Cite an Article| Components & Examples (2023)

With Components & Examples

How to Cite an Article| Components & Examples (1)


  • 1 Definition: How to Cite an Article
  • 2 FAQs
  • 3 Components of Full Citations
  • 4 Different Citation Systems
  • 5 To Cite an Article in APA Style
  • 6 In a Nutshell

Definition: How to Cite an Article

You are probably just about to finish your paper and are now looking for a quick way to find out how to cite an article. For your paper to appear professional, it is necessary to cite every source you have used correctly. Citing an article differs from citing other references, such as books or websites. This article will show you how to cite an article.

What exactly is an article in an academic context?

Journal article

An article is a dependent work (unlike a monograph), because articles are published in journals that are often online publications. Scientific journals are published at regular intervals.

Consequently, a full citation of journal articles requires the volume number and, if possible, also the issue number (cf. Lück & Henke 2009: 83).

Example: Journal Language and Speech: Browsing the volumes of this journal shows that it is published quarterly (four issues); clicking on the individual issue number lead to the articles.

How to Cite an Article| Components & Examples (2)

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What is a citation?

A citation is a way of referencing to a published or unpublished source of information that was used in the writing of a journal or research paper. Citations give your readers specific information on sources of the information contained in the text. These citations are written at the end of the report, usually in alphabetical order. This greatly helps the writer avoid plagiarism when writing especially long texts.

How do I cite an article?

Every source used in academic writing must always be cited. Citations for online articles are written as follows: write the author(s) name(s), name of the article in quotation marks, title of the publication in italics, volume and issue numbers of the source, and the year of publication. Be sure that you change the formatting of the citation to suit the referencing style you’re using.

How do I cite an online article?

This type of citation pertains to work obtained from electronic sources on the internet. This is especially complicated and different from the norm because online information can be easily changed, edited, deleted or they just disappear for numerous reasons. It is therefore advised that you store these sources personally by making copies of all the files you used. The exact formatting of an online article citation depends on the referencing style that you’re using. Scroll down for further information about specific citations with each referencing method.

Tip: If you’re not confident with your referencing skills, run your academic work through a plagiarism checker before you hand it in.

How important is citing an article when writing?

Citing an article used when writing has numerous important purposes. One of which is because it helps the writer avoid plagiarizing other writers’ works that were utilized for the academic writing process. It also provides the readers with details about where to find more information about sources mentioned in the text. Plus, it helps the writer to keep track of all the sources they’ve referenced whilst writing.

What are the different citation styles?

There are three (3) major styles of citing across the board (article, book, etc). They are as follows:

a. The APA Style (American Psychological Association): This is an author-year system of citation that ensures that the sources you are referencing can be tracked easily. This style is mostly used for Education, Psychology, and Science writings.

b. The MLA Style (Modern Language Association): This style uses the author-page system of in-text citation. It is popularly referred to as the college writing citation style. It is used for writing in the Humanities field.

c. The Chicago Style: This is an extremely flexible style of citation that unites two referencing styles (footnotes or author-year system) in one manual of style. It is used for Business, History, and Fine Arts writings.

(Video) Citation for Beginners

They ultimately defer in the order in which the properties are cited. However, their contents are similar in all three cases.

(Video) How to cite and reference a journal article

Components of Full Citations

The following table (cf. APA manual 2010; Oertner, St. John, & Thelen 2014: 48-49) lists all elements that are part of a full citation of a journal article, including examples for each component. The author of the article is a crucial element of the full citation. Each entry in the reference list starts with the author’s surname.

Components of the citationMandatoryExamplesComments: How to cite an article
Author of the article Yes- Seidel, Brigitte; Schmitt, Peter A.
- Gilbert, D. G. (APA style)
- n. a.
- The first name is written in full, the middle name abbreviated. However, this also depends on the citation style chosen: in APA citations, both first name and middle name are abbreviated.
- n.a. = no author
- The surname is part of the short reference in the text, if there are more than three authors: Name (first author) et al. (e.g. Shotton et al.).
Article titleYes- “The geographic expansion of Mexican immigration in the United States and its implications for local law enforcement”
-“Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients”
Recommendation: Put the title in quotation marks; this indicates that it is a dependent work.
Please note: No quotation marks in APA
In:Depends on citation system - , in:
- . In:
- Indicates that the article is embedded in a larger publication (the journal)
- Capitalized only after a period
Please note: No in/In in APA citations, the article title is directly followed by the italicized journal title.
Journal titleYes- Health Psychology
- Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal
- Journal of Applied Linguistics

Title in italics (= independent publication)
Volume/Issue number and date/year of publication Yes- 28/1 (28th volume issue no. 1)
- 2(2) (APA style)
- 22.03.2015
- Journal articles: volume and issue number
- For newspaper articles: day, month, year
- Date of publication (APA citation: in
brackets, right after the author)
Page numbersYes- p. 145-168
- 25-59
- 63 et seq.
- Please note: The page numbers do not refer to pages from which quotes were extracted, but refer to the placement of this particular article in the whole journal.
- ff. = the following page; et seq. = subsequent pages (min. 2); if you are referring to more than three pages here, use a dash to indicate from-till: p. 267-275

Crucial Elements for Citing an Article

Author: When it comes to journal articles, the author of the article is named first (not the editor of the journal). The surname is followed by the first name. If there is more than one first name, only the first is written in full and the middle name is abbreviated, e.g. Schmitt, Peter A. However, if you are using APA citations, all first names are abbreviated and only the surname is written in full, e.g. Schmitt, P.A.

Journal title: Another vital element is the title of the journal. Depending on the citation system you choose to follow, the title is put in quotation marks. The title of the journal is also part of a full citation and must be italicized to contrast it with the title of the article. Thus, it is possible to distinguish article and journal title at a glance.

Volume Number: Moreover, you have to include the volume number to make sure that the article can be easily found and identified. In addition, the page numbers must be given as this also helps the reader trace your source.

Different Citation Systems

The above table has all the necessary information components that you must include when citing an article. However, the order of the information presented above differs depending on the citation system you are using.

Please note: In general, all citation systems draw on the same pieces of information: only the order of the elements differ, and punctuation marks might be used differently.

You have to make sure that you consistently follow the same citation style when citing an article or other sources in general, e.g. APA style or Chicago Manual. The latter systems are so-called author/year (or date) systems which means parenthetical references are used in the text (author, year, page number). Short references in the text are directly linked to the full reference in the reference list.

Recommended: How to cite a book

The APA style is frequently used, and there are many reference lists of published works which follow this system. Maybe you came across the term “Harvard Style”. However, this is not a Manual of Style like the APA Style and the Chicago Manual. Bear in mind that Harvard Referencing is just “another name for the author/date citation system, the custom of using author and date in parentheses, e.g. (Robbins 1987), to refer readers to the full bibliographic citations” (cf. Harvard Library 2018, Chernin 1988).

To Cite an Article in APA Style

(Video) How to Make a Reference for a Journal Article: With and Without DOI Number-APA| Dr. Muhammad Yousaf

If you want to cite an article in APA style, you have to start with the author of the article. The surname is mentioned first. This is followed by the year of publication in brackets, the title of the article (no quotation marks), and the title of the journal in italics. The volume and issue number come right after the journal title, and then page numbers. The reference list is ordered alphabetically based on the first letters of the surnames of the authors who are cited.

Please note: APA citations require listing the DOI (digital object identifier) part of the full citation if one is assigned. If this is not the case, the home page URL for the journal/magazine should be included in the reference following this format: Retrieved from http://www.xxxxxx (cf. APA manual 2010: 198).

Examples of Citing Articles in APA Style

The table below shows the general reference form for citing articles in APA style and three examples (cf. APA manual 2010: 198-199 & Szuchman 2005: 103.).

General reference form:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of periodical, xx, pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxxxxxxx
Offline Journal article
Rogers, M., McDonald, R., & Kermit, F. (2002). Not all creatures wear sweaters. Children’s Television Review, 14, 12-30.
Journal article with DOI
Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 225-229. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.24.2.225
Journal article without DOI
Silick, T. J., & Schutte, N. S. (2006). Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 2(2), 38-48. Retrieved from

Please note: Make sure to use the same punctuation as in the general reference form above: this is also part of using APA citations. 2(2) in the example above indicates that this journal was published for the second consecutive year, and this particular article is in the second issue published in the year 2006. Information regarding the volume and issue number can usually be found at the top of the title page of an article.

How to Cite an Article| Components & Examples (3)

Journal article as accessed and downloaded. See top of the page on the right-hand side: information regarding volume, issue number, year of publication, and name of journal.

(Video) Referencing: some brief examples

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In a Nutshell

  • An article is a dependent work, as it is published in a journal (among other articles). A journal is published at regular intervals, e.g. three or four times a year.
  • A full citation of an article includes: the name of the author of the article, the title of the article, the title of the journal, the volume number, the issue number, the year of publication, and the page numbers (for APA citation also DOI).
  • Different citations systems have different rules on how to order the elements in an entry in the reference list, but they all draw on the same kind of information.
  • Author/year systems such as APA style and Chicago Manual (as well as Harvard Style, which is just another term for author/year system) require short references in the text which directly refer to full citations in the reference list.


APA manual (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Chernin. 1988. The “Harvard System”: a mystery dispelled. British Medical Journal 297: 1062-1063.

Harvard Library. Oct 24, 2018. Citation and Research Management Tools at Harvard – Harvard Style. Retrieved Oct 25, 2018 from the World Wide Web:

Lück, Wolfgang, Michael Henke. 2009. Technik des wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens – Seminararbeit, Diplomarbeit, Dissertation. 10th ed. Oldenbourg Verlag: München.

Oertner, Monika, Illona St. John & Gabriele Thelen. 2014. Wissenschaftlich Schreiben – Ein Praxisbuch für Schreibtrainer und Studierende. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink.

Szuchman, Leonore T. 2005. Writing With Style – APA Style Made Easy. 3rd edition. Canada: Thomson Wadsworth.


How do you cite an article in an answer? ›

When referring to information from a source in your own text, per APA guidelines, you will include the author, the year of publication, and sometimes the page number of the source. (The page number is required only with direct quotations.) This list of information is called an in-text citation.

How do you cite an article example? ›

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day). Title of article. Newspaper Title, pages–pages.

What are the 3 main components of citing? ›

Citation Basics
  • The AUTHOR (or creator) of the work. This may be one person, many people, a group or an organization.
  • The TITLE OF THE WORK itself. The article title, the book title, the video title, etc.
19 Sept 2022

How do you cite an article step by step? ›

Basic Structure for Journal Article References

Provide the title of the article, but only capitalize the first letter of the title. Next, list the journal or periodical and volume number in italics, followed by the issue number in parentheses. Finally, provide the page numbers where the article can be found.

What is the easiest way to cite an article? ›

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Journal Title, vol. #, issue #, publication date, page number(s).

How do you cite correctly example? ›

For every in-text citation in your paper, there must be a corresponding entry in your reference list. APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number as well, for example: (Field, 2005, p. 14).

How do you cite an article with an author example? ›

When citing a webpage or online article, the APA in-text citation consists of the author's last name and year of publication. For example: (Worland & Williams, 2015). Note that the author can also be an organization. For example: (American Psychological Association, 2019).

How do you cite a cite in an essay? ›

Your in-text citation should include both authors: the author(s) of the original source and the author(s) of the secondary source. For example: (Habermehl, 1985, as cited in Kersten, 1987). In your reference list you should provide the details of the secondary source (the source you read).

What are the 2 main components of a citation? ›

A proper citation has two parts:
  • Citation in the bibliography. The reference list (APA) or works cited (MLA) list is an alphabetical list of citations for the sources you used in your work. This list appears at the end of your work. ...
  • Corresponding in-text citations. You also need to create in-text citations.
14 Nov 2022

What are the components of a reference in a reference list? ›

Reference list entries include the four elements of the author, date, title, and source.
The date will take one of the following forms:
  • year only;
  • year, month, and day (i.e., an exact date);
  • year and month;
  • year and season; or.
  • range of dates (e.g., range of years, range of exact dates).

What is the easiest way to cite? ›

For in-text citation, the easiest method is to parenthetically give the author's last name and the year of publication, e.g., (Clarke 2001), but the exact way you cite will depend on the specific type of style guide you follow.

How do you cite and quote an article? ›

In-text citations include the last name of the author followed by a page number enclosed in parentheses. "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8). If the author's name is not given, then use the first word or words of the title. Follow the same formatting that was used in the works cited list, such as quotation marks.

How do you cite a full article? ›

- Full-Text Journal Articles. Author, "Title of the Article." Title of the Journal, vol. #, issue #., date, pages. [Use the "vol.," "no.," and "pp." abbreviations].

What are three 3 common ways to cite the source text? ›

Citing sources
  1. In-text citation.
  2. Parenthetical citation.
  3. Footnotes.
  4. Endnotes.
14 Mar 2022

What is the best citation method? ›

APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences. MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities. Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history. Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

What are 5 things that must be cited? ›

Information that always must be cited—whether web-based or print-based—includes:
  • Quotations, opinions, and predictions, whether directly quoted or paraphrased.
  • Statistics derived by the original author.
  • Visuals in the original.
  • Another author's theories.
  • Case studies.

Do you have to cite examples? ›

You must cite the source every time you incorporate research, words, ideas, data, or information that is not your own (2). While you are synthesizing and often summarizing many pieces of information, you must cite any concept that is not your own.

How do you cite and explain? ›

ICE: Introduce, Cite, and Explain Your Evidence
  1. INTRODUCE: Introduce all your quotes using introductory phrases. ...
  2. CITE: Provide appropriate parenthetical citations for all quotes and paraphrases (but not summaries). ...
  3. EXPLAIN: Make sure to explain your quotes.

How do you cite an online article in text? ›

Use the most recent publication date on the page, including the day, month, and year if available. Author last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Website Name, Day Month Year, URL.

How do you in text cite an author and a paragraph? ›

The in-text citation should occur in the sentence where the cited material has been used: Signal phrase reference (author's name) appears within the sentence with page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Full parenthetical reference (author last name and page number) appears at the end of the sentence.

How do you cite the title of an article in an essay? ›

The title of an article is not italicized in MLA style, but placed in quotation marks. This applies to articles from journals, newspapers, websites, or any other publication. Use italics for the title of the source where the article was published.

How do you write cite? ›

Elements to include:
  1. Author of paper.
  2. Year of publication (in round brackets)
  3. Title of paper (in single quotation marks)
  4. Title of conference proceedings: subtitle (in italics)
  5. Location and date of conference.
  6. Place of publication: Publisher.
  7. Page references for the paper.

What are the five basic components of a source citation on a works cited? ›

This citation for a book includes five of the nine Core Elements: Author, Title of Source, Other contributors, Publisher, and Publication Date.

What are 3 things all citations have in common? ›

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including: author name(s) titles of books, articles, and journals. date of publication.

What are the components of a work cited page? ›

Components of Works Cited Entries
  • Author. Author(s) and/or editor(s). ...
  • Title of source. Book Title: And Subtitle if Included. ...
  • Title of container, Book Title, ...
  • Contributors, Contributors (if applicable), ...
  • Version, Edition (if applicable), ...
  • Number, Volume (if applicable), ...
  • Publisher, ...
  • Publication date,
15 Sept 2022

What is a reference component? ›

The Reference component allows you to display an existing piece of content from another AEM page (i.e., reuse content). Any changes to the original content will also be reflected on what's displayed on the Reference component on your page.

Which is the first component of a reference? ›

Author. The first component in every APA reference is the author. Sometimes an author can be a corporation or group. Author.

What are the components of APA format? ›

Your APA paper should include five major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Paper, Paper Format and References And Citations.

What are the 5 steps in citing sources using APA format? ›

Citing a Book in APA
  1. Step 1: Formatting the author's name. The author's name should be written in reversed order. ...
  2. Step 2: Placing the Year Your Source was Published. ...
  3. Step 3: Place the Title of the Source. ...
  4. Step 4: Cite the publisher of your source. ...
  5. Step 5: Add the Page or Pages where the Citation was Taken.

What are the 8 information needed in making the referencing list? ›

Elements of the reference list
  • Author.
  • Title.
  • Volume / Issue.
  • Place of publication.
  • Publisher.
  • Editor.
  • Date of publication.
  • URL/DOI.

What are the 4 types of citation techniques? ›

There are four widely-used referencing styles or conventions. They are called the MLA (Modern Languages Association) system, the APA (American Psychological Association) system, the Harvard system, and the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) system.

What is the basic citation format? ›

The basic format for this is: Last name of author, first name. “Title of page/document”. Title of overall webpage, date, URL.

How do you write the source of an article? ›

Include information in the following order:
  1. author (if available)
  2. year of publication.
  3. article title (between single quotation marks)
  4. newspaper title (in italics)
  5. date of article (day, month, page number—if given—and any additional information available)
  6. accessed day month year (the date you accessed the items)
7 Jul 2022

How do you cite every sentence? ›

The rule of thumb is to cite the very first sentence, make it clear you are still talking about the same work in your subsequent sentences (for example, "The study noted that..."), and then confirm you are still talking about the work by including another citation at the end (if this has continued for several sentences ...

Which components are typically included when citing a journal article? ›

Typically when citing an article you need the following: author, title of article, date of publication, title of publication, volume, issue, page numbers, and either a DOI or URL.

How do you cite a website in an answer? ›

Luckily, writing the in-text citation for a website or webpage is easy: Simply include the author and year of publication. The URL goes in the corresponding reference list entry (and yes, you can leave the links live).

How do you quote an article in an essay? ›

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.

How do you cite an article in-text MLA? ›

Using In-text Citation

MLA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the page number from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken, for example: (Smith 163). If the source does not use page numbers, do not include a number in the parenthetical citation: (Smith).

How do you cite a website in text examples? ›

Author last name, First name. “Title of Article.” Website Name, Day Month Year, URL.

How do I cite an online article? ›

Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known.

What is an example of a website citation? ›

Author last name, First name. “Page Title.” Website Name, Day Month Year, URL.

How do you cite a quote in an essay example? ›

How to quote in an essay?
  1. Use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation. ...
  2. Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words. ...
  3. Use an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote a critic or researcher.

How do you correctly cite a quote? ›

When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number, like this: "Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8). "Here's a direct quote" ("Trouble" 22).

How do you in-text cite a section of an article? ›

It's actually quite simple: Just provide a citation for the whole work in the reference list, and in the text, include the regular author–date citation plus information about the specific part to which you want to bring the reader's attention. The idea is to provide a path to the source.

How do you in-text cite an article in APA? ›

APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number as well, for example: (Field, 2005, p. 14). For sources such as websites and e-books that have no page numbers, use a paragraph number.

How do you cite an article title in-text? ›

Instead of the author's name, include the first few words of the work's title in the in-text citation. Enclose the title in double quotation marks when citing an article, web page or book chapter. Italicize the title of periodicals, books, and reports.

What are three ways you can correctly cite research? ›

There are three ways in which you can incorporate others' ideas into your report.
  • Direct Quoting: Using the author's exact wording from their research. ...
  • Paraphrasing: Using your own words to describe another researcher's idea.
  • Summarizing: A condensed description of the main / key ideas from another researcher's work.
29 Oct 2022

What are 5 things that must be cited or documented? ›

Information that always must be cited—whether web-based or print-based—includes:
  • Quotations, opinions, and predictions, whether directly quoted or paraphrased.
  • Statistics derived by the original author.
  • Visuals in the original.
  • Another author's theories.
  • Case studies.

How do you cite a source in a sentence? ›

The in-text citation should occur in the sentence where the cited material has been used: Signal phrase reference (author's name) appears within the sentence with page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. Full parenthetical reference (author last name and page number) appears at the end of the sentence.


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