Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I do if I’m having trouble finding the author or date of my source?
- How do I name an N.A. source in my report?
- Do I have to use the author’s full name when mentioning them in my writing?
- How do I format the title of a source within my writing?
- How do I add a citation to an image I’ve used in my report or in a slideshow?
- How do I integrate quotations into my own writing?
- How do I quote a poem or lines from a Shakespearean play?
- How do I add or edit words in a quotation to provide clarification?
- How do I remove unnecessary words from a quotation?
- When can I abbreviate terms, like using GHS instead of Gravenhurst High School?
1. What should I do if I’m having trouble finding the author or date of my source?
First, you should check the reliability of this source. Good sources should provide this information somewhere in the document/website. When searching for the author, consider that the author might be a corporate source. This means that, instead of being written by a person, it’s been published by a corporate business or organization. If you have looked hard and can’t locate the name of the person or corporation that published the content, but the source seems reliable, use N.A., which stands for No Author. If you can’t identify the date, use N.D., which stands for No Date.
2. How do I name an N.A. source in my report?
Look at the citation, and use the next available identifier to refer to the source. So, the next identifier would be the title of the source, and in the very rare case that this is also not available, use the title of the source’s container (ie. the host website).
3. Do I have to use the author’s full name when mentioning them in my writing?
You can either use their full name or their last name, but never just their first name.
4. How do I format the title of a source within my writing?
Titles of self-contained works (ie. novel, website, newspaper, journal) should be italicized. or example, The Hunger Games is a self-contained text.
Titles of works that appear within longer texts (ie. poem, Chapter Title) should appear in quotation marks. For example, the poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” was published inside the journal Botteghe Oscure and can also be found within the Poets.org website, so the poem’s title would be placed in quotation marks regardless of whether you are using the text or online version.
5. How do I add a citation to an image I’ve used in my report or in a slideshow?
Use the exact same in-text citation formatting you’d use for textual content, but place the citation below the bottom right-hand corner of the image.
6. How do I integrate quotations into my own writing?
If the content from your source will fit in four or fewer lines of your report, you enclose the quotation within quotation marks (“ “). If your quotation is longer than four lines of your report, you start the quotation on a new line, indenting each line of the quotation one tab space, with no need for quotation mark use. The appropriate information to name the source and connect the source to the References/Works Cited page must be included in the sentence - either directly stated or in a parenthetical in-text citation. All punctuation for the sentence appears after the parenthetical citation. Here are some examples:
1. According to some, dreams express "profound aspects of personality" (Foulkes 184), though others disagree.
2. Is it possible that dreams may express "profound aspects of personality"? (Foulkes 184).
3. Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration:
They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house (Bronte 78).
7. How do I quote a poem or lines from a Shakespearean play?
Use the same quote formatting listed in the question above, but use slashes to indicate line breaks. Here is an example:
Cullen concludes, "Of all the things that happened there / That's all I remember" (11-12).
8. How do I add or edit words in a quotation to provide clarification?
You can add words to a quotation by putting square brackets around the new words to indicate that they aren’t part of the original quotation. Here is an example:
Jan Harold Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states, "some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale" (78).
You can edit words to a quotation by putting square brackets around the new words to indicate that they aren’t part of the original quotation. For example:
If the quote was “Brenda and David went to the store," but you only want the quote to refer to David as a pronoun in your quote, you could change it to "[He] went to the store."
9. How do I remove unnecessary words from a quotation?
You can omit words by adding an ellipsis (...) where the words were. Here is an example:
In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that "some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale ... and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs" (78).
10. When can I abbreviate terms, like using GHS instead of Gravenhurst High School?
The first time you mention the term, you must write it out in full and then follow the term with the abbreviation in round brackets immediately after the word. From that point on, you can stick to just the abbreviation. For example:
Gravenhurst High School (GHS) is an awesome school. Students at GHS are the best.