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How to Read Citations: Home


Book citations will always have a publisher, place of publication, and year of publication.

Tip: To find this in the library search the Library Catalog, and search either the book title or the author's name.


Blassingame, John W. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977.

Book Chapters

Book chapter citations have publisher, and place of publication for the book, but also may have additional clues that incidate it's a chapter: 1) two titles - one for the book and one for the chapter/section, 2) "ed." for editor, and 3) Page numbers for the chapter.

Tip: To find this in the library search the Library Catalog by either the book title or the editor's name.


Livingston, Rose Marie. "Two Grandmothers - Cecelia and Alma." The Dark Woods I Cross: An Anthology of Contemporary Louisville Women Poets. Eds. Fielding, Kent, Ron Whitehead and Jennifer Seelig. Louisville, Ky.: White Fields Press, 1992. pp. 117-18.

Journal Articles

Journal articles will have volume and/or issue number and will indicate the page numbers of the article.

Tip: If you have the citation for a journal article, the best way to find it is to do a search on the journal title on the Find Journals page.


Montrie, Chadwick. "A Path to Reform: Confronting the Garbage Crisis in Louisville, 1865-1873." Filson Club History Quarterly 70.1 (1996): 27-38.

Newspaper Articles

Newspapers article citations are more likely to include a full date since many newspapers come out daily. They may or may not have an author. Pape numbers may include a section indicator.


Pardue, Anne. "Kentucky Becomes 19th to Ratify Equal Rights for Women Amendment." Courier - Journal 16 June 1972, p. A6.


This one can be tricky because databases frequently include citations to the abstract in Dissertation Abstracts International rather than to the dissertation itself.

The citation for the actual dissertation includes the name of the university.

Abstract citation

Consolidation and Desegregation of Public Schools in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Birkhead, Judith Ann. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 1978, 55, 8, Feb, 2579-A

Dissertation citation

Birkhead, Judith Ann. Consolidation and Desegregation of Public Schools in Jefferson County, Kentucky. University of Cincinnati, 1978.

Government Publications

Government documents will have the name of a federal government agency as the publisher and/or they will indicate that they have been published by the Government Printing Office (GPO).

If the citation has a URL it can be found online. Many government documents are no longer published in a print format.

Print source example

Department of the Interior, Census Office. Report on Manufactures of the United States at the Tenth Census: June 1, 1880. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1883.

Online source example

Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed: 10 October 2016.