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INF 110: Introduction to Research Essentials

This guide expands on the topics you've explored in INF 110: Introduction to Research Essentials.

Writing & Using Citations

The key to reading a cited reference is to understand the type of publication being referenced. So, is it an article published in a scholarly journal? A book? A chapter in a book? A blog post? A video? 

  • Citing is how researchers and scholars around the world and across time share information with each other.
  • Each subject uses the citation style that emphasizes aspects of the research that the subject highly value (eg the sciences indicate they value the date of research by using APA).
  • The title (article, journal, book chapter, book, etc) tell you how dense the source is - and that can help you decide if you also need a broader source for contextual information.

Based on Dan Martin's work

Examples of APA Style References

These images point out the different parts of an end-of-text citation for a journal article, whole book, and book chapter. Underneath each one, an example from an actual source has been included. While APA is not the only citation style you'll be asked to use during your time at MCPHS, it is one of the most common, and it's worthwhile to become familiar with what the information is that you're asked to include.

Journal Article Format

Diagram of APA journal article citation


Journal Article Example

Bingmer, K., Kazimi, M., Wang, V., Ofshteyn, A., Steinhagen, E., & Stein, S.L. (2021). Population demographics in geographic proximity to hospitals with robotic platforms do not correlate with disparities in access to robotic surgery. Surgical Endoscopy, 35(8), 4834.

Book Format

Format for APA citation for a book.


Book Example

Tong, R. (2018). Wearable technology in medicine and health care. Elsevier Science & Technology.

Book Chapter Format

Format for APA citation for a book chapter


Book Chapter Example

Kulyukin, V. (2014). Speech-based interaction with service robots: A survey of methods and approaches. In A. Neustein (Ed.), Speech and automata in health care (pp. 31-59). De Gruyter.

Images from: Fowler, M.R. (2020). 7th edition reference guide for journal articles, books, and edited book chapters. APA Style.

In-Text Citations

Remember, in order to have a complete citation, you must include both the end-of-text citation, via a Reference section (also called a Works Cited or Bibliography section) at the end of your paper, as well as an in-text citation (also called a parenthetical citation or footnote, depending upon your citation style).

In APA style, your in-text citations must include two parts: the authors' names and the publication date of the source.

Here's what the in-text citations would look like for the examples on the previous page:

  • Journal article: (Bingmer et al., 2021) 
  • Whole book: (Tong, 2018) 
  • Book chapter: (Kulyukin, 2014)

The Purdue OWL website is very helpful when it comes to creating both in-text and end-of-text citations. Their page on in-text citations specifically (which also contains tips about integrating them into your writing) can be found here.

Citing is Complex!

Citation is a big and sometimes confusing topic, and this module is only meant as an introduction to the very basics. Questions are sure to arise when it comes time to create citations for your work, and fortunately there are many ways to get help!

The Library has a Citation Style Guide, with links to many helpful websites. The Writing Center is also an excellent resource, and you can even schedule an individual appointment to review your paper and make sure your citations are correct.

Question: Can't I just use the citation tool in the MCPHS Smart Search or one of those websites that builds the citation for you?

Answer: Citation builders can be helpful tools, and if you decide to use one to help create your bibliography, be sure to double check what it gives you! Occasionally they will mix up article and journal titles, use incorrect capitalization, or even add in italics or bold fonts when it's not appropriate (all things the librarian writing this section has seen first-hand!). If you double check and make corrections, you'll be fine - and it's a good habit to get into. Not every professor is picky about 100% correction citations, but some are, and why lose points on an assignment needlessly? Also, if your future goals include publishing or writing a thesis or dissertation someday, the sooner you become comfortable recognizing correct citations, the better.

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