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UGS 303: Dealing with Disaster in the Ancient World / Taylor

Find a source from a citation

Some citations are better than others.

Step 1: In the List of Themes on the Home page of this guide, choose a citation from your theme to search.

Step 2: Decide if it is a book, book chapter or an article.

Step 3: If it is a book, search for it by title or title and author in the Library Catalog. If it is an article, or you are not sure, search for it on the main Library homepage by keyword.

Step 4: Found it? Email yourself a permanent link. Careful because links are not permanent unless they say so!

Step 5: If you have the item in front of you (some books have snippets in Google Books), head to the references. This is where to go to find more sources within your topic area.

Decoding citations

All of the below citations are in different styles. Why are there so many different citation styles? I don't know. There are hundreds of them, believe it or not, and they all are built within a subject area that decides what elements are most important to those doing research in that area.

RAAT, W. Dirk, (2012) “World History, MesoAmerica, and the Native American Southwest by W. Dirk Raat”, History Compass 10/7 (2012): 537–548

I know this is an article because there are page numbers. The 10/7 refers to a volume and issue number. All periodicals (magazines, newspapers and journals) have volume and issue numbers. 

When you see a title in quotation marks, it's likely an article...unless...

MORSE, Richard (1988) “Cites and People” Rethinking the Latin American City, edited by Richard Morse and Jorge E. Hardoy (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press) pp. 3-20.
This has quotation marks and it also has page numbers - but it's not an article. It's a chapter from a book. Books that contain the work of multiple authors have editors. Books are published by presses in a particular city.
Here's a citation for a book with an author and no editors credited. You can see just one title in italics:
Obama, B. (2004). Dreams from my father: A story of race and inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press.

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