Political Science/JSIS/LSJ Writing Center
Quick Guide to Citing Print/Electronic Sources
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When writing political science papers, it is necessary to cite the sources
that you used to construct and defend your argument. The most common way
to do this is to use in-text citations, or parenthetical references. We
recommend using in-text citations unless your instructor indicates
Note that any phrases/sentences taken directly from a work must be
clearly signaled with quotation marks and followed by a citation.
If you make a reference that doesn't require a direct quote (i.e.:
the eyes of Bill Gates, the present time is prosperous for the entire
software industry.), just make a parenthetical reference to the work
idea comes from. Going along with the previous example, the citation might
be: (Gates 1999).
Here is an example of an in-text
"The color blue is unique in that it stimulates the central
nervous system" (Thomson 1998, 175).
According to Mark Thomson, "The color blue is unique in that it
stimulates the central nervous system" (1998, 175).
Note that only the author's last name is used, followed by a space,
the year the cited work was published in, a comma, and the page the quote
Also note that in the second example above, the author's name was not
included in the parenthetical citation because it was mentioned in the
sentence that includes the quote.
To cite web sites, list the Author's last name (if given) and a
section/page marker (if included, which they usually are not). If no
author is named, use the document title or a shortened version of it. Put
in quotes or italics, as appropriate. For multiple works by the same
author, include the author's last name and a shortened version of the
title of the work.For example: While 20 percent of females are
happy with their hair, a whopping 40 percent say they've dyed it at least
once (Jenkins, "Women and Self-Image").
If you cite works by one author that were published in the same
year, differentiate between them by listing the year as "1998a" and
"1998b," etc. Be consistent with this distinction in your Reference List.
For example: The situation in Dane's house was not unique; in
fact, many of his neighbors complained of hearing similar noises (Nance
1998a, 221). And later.. The events that occurred in the small
Chicago suburb were indicators of a larger social problem (Nance 1998b,
At the end of your paper, you will compile full references onto a
"Reference List" page. This list contains complete references of works
cited in your paper.
The Reference List page
This page lists only those publications cited in your paper.
The entire Works Cited page should be single-spaced. If one entry
takes up more than one line on the page, indent each line after the first.
All references should be listed alphabetically by the authors' last
When there are several works by the same author, place them in
chronological order with the earliest publication first. Give the name in
the first entry only, and for subsequent entries, type three hyphens, add
a period, and skip a space (---.). Then give the title. For example:
If no author's name is given, begin with the title of the
(1) Author. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher,
(2) ---. Title of Second Book. Place of publication: Publisher,
Examples of Works Cited list entries:
Books with one author: Author. Title of Book. Place of
publication: Publisher, Date.
Books with multiple authors: Jones, Jenny, Montel
Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Title of Book. Place of publication:
List the authors' names in the order they appear on the title page of
Only the first author's name is reversed (last name, first name).
If the persons named on the title page are editors, add a comma after
the final name, then the abbreviation "eds" and a period. For
example: Krutch, Gene and Hunter French, eds. Title of Book. Place
of publication: Publisher, Date.
If there are more than three authors, name only the first and add "et
al." or give all the names.
Chapter in a Multi-author Collection: Tinn, Betty G.
1984. "The Cultural Consequences of Television." In The Effects of
Technology on Society, ed. Hank Yancy. Seattle: Needle Printing Press.
Periodicals (Magazines): Author. "Title of Article."
Title of Magazine Date: Page(s) of article.
Months are abbreviated to three letters (except May, June and July).
Dates for magazines issued weekly or bi-weekly should be written as:
Day Month Year (i.e. 21 January 2000).
Journal Articles: Author. "Title of Article." Title of
Journal. volume number (Year): Page(s) of article.
Newspaper Articles: Author. "Title of Article." Title of
Newspaper. Date, edition: Page(s) of article.
If the city of publication is not part of the newspaper's name, it
should be added in square brackets. For example: Daily News
Specify the edition of the newspaper, if it is mentioned on the
World Wide Web sites: Author's name (if given). "Title of
Page." (if given) Name of Database or Project. Date of posting or update.
Name of organization. Date of access <>Electronic address or URL>.
Congressional Reports and Documents
Bills: U.S. Congress. House. 1985. Food Security Act of
1985. 99th Cong., 1st sess., H.R. 2100. Congressional Record. 131, no.
132, daily ed. (8 October 1985): H8353-8486.
Hearings: U.S. Congress. Senate. Commitee on Foreign
Relations. 1985. Famine in Africa: Hearing Before the Committee on
Foreign Relations. 99th Cong., 1st sess., 17 January 1985.
The reference begins with "U.S. Congress," followed by any commitee,
year, title, Congress, sessions, and report or document number of
committee number. Include bills, resolutions and publications by
commissions in this category.
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