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How to Reference Books and Articles in Text

Before computers, we used typewriters to underline book titles, and we placed quotation marks around article titles. However, many current style manuals recommend italicizing book titles and magazine names (impossible to do on a typewriter) and using quotation marks around articles.

Example: I read Lord of the Flies in high school.

Example: I enjoyed reading “Become Your Own Best Friend” in Newsweek.

 

Pop Quiz
Choose the correct sentence.

1A. My brother thought the “New York Times” article Homeless Team Roots for a New Life Through Soccer was fascinating.
1B. My brother thought the New York Times article “Homeless Team Roots for a New Life Through Soccer” was fascinating.

2A. “Light Meals for Nibblers” is a chapter in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.
2B. Light Meals for Nibblers is a chapter in “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest,” one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.

3A. I remember reading “The Catcher in the Rye” when I was a teenager.
3B. I remember reading The Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager.

 

Pop Quiz Answers
1B. My brother thought the New York Times article “Homeless Team Roots for a New Life Through Soccer” was fascinating.
2A. “Light Meals for Nibblers” is a chapter in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks.
3B. I remember reading The Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager.

Posted on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 11:41 pm


6 Comments

6 Responses to “How to Reference Books and Articles in Text”

  1. Charlie Sellens says:

    I appreciate having this resource available for quick reference.

  2. Bran says:

    Helpful resource. What’s the appropriate method to referencing a letter?

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style recommends the following for unpublished materials:

      “Give the information that you have and indicate where information is not available. Model your citation on the usual form: author, title, kind of document (manuscript, letter, etc.), place, date, and where you found it. “N.p.” can stand in for “no place,” “no publisher,” and “no page number”; “n.d.” for “no date.” For example, Deborah Dorman, “Psychoanalyzing the Penguin,” manuscript, Misc. Papers File, Chicago College Library, n.d.”

      Using this as a guide, a letter might be referenced as, “Mary Jones, letter to Arthur Wingate, September 23, 2009, personal files of Arthur Wingate.”

  3. gollilox says:

    This is so helpful!!!! Thank you so much.

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