Article Citation: Types & Examples

Instructor: Mary Firestone
Learn about the different types of article citations, and how to use them in your research paper or essay. Review the examples, and then take a quiz to test your new knowledge.

Article Citations

An article citation is required when you've quoted or paraphrased from an article in a magazine, newspaper, scholarly journal, or other type of periodical. These publications - the magazines, etc. - are called 'periodicals' because they're published daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc., instead of just once, like a book. Citations are important because they help you to avoid plagiarism and let the reader know which ideas are yours, and which ones are from another source. They also help people follow up on your research.

The way you cite an article depends on what documentation style you use. Many college courses require APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association) styles. Both styles require that in-text citations have a corresponding entry in a Works Cited (MLA) or References page (MLA), which is the last page of the document. See examples of both below.

Article Citations in APA Style

If you're writing a paper in APA style, the general format for in-text article citations is author-year, the same way you'd cite a book.

From a Paraphrase

  • Jones (2013) has talked to the research group about more studies.
  • Based on these findings, more studies need to be done (Jones, 20XX).

From a Direct Quote

  • According to Jones (2013), '...the need for further studies is clear' (p. 24).

References Page

For the References page, each type of periodical has different requirements. For example:

From a Scholarly Journal

  • Author, A. (2013). Scientific research article. Science Journal. 142, 37-55.

The name of the journal is italicized, followed by the volume number and pages of the article.

From a Magazine

  • Author, A. (2013, October). Monthly magazine article title. Title of Magazine. 212, 33-37.

As shown in the entry above, include the month when citing monthly magazines. For weeklies, include the day.

From a Newspaper

  • Author, A. (2013, October 12). Newspaper article title. Title of newspaper. p. 6.

Include the day when quoting from newspapers.

Article Citations in MLA Style

When you cite articles in-text in an MLA style document, use the same format as you would for books, or any other type of publication. MLA style uses the author-page number format.

From a Paraphrase

  • At the faculty meeting, each article was named alphabetically (Johnson 147).

From a Direct Quote

  • David Johnson stated that, '...the readings were all done in the correct order' (147)

Works Cited Page (MLA)

From a Scholarly Journal

  • Author, Name. 'Title of the Article.' Title of Journal. 136. (20XX): 33-36. Print.

The entries should begin with the author's last name and full first name. The journal title is followed by the volume, the year, the pages and medium (print, electronic, video, etc.)

From a Magazine

  • Author, Name. 'Title of the Article.' Title of Magazine. Nov. 20XX: 48-52. Print.

Include the month the publication was published, followed by the page number and medium. If it's a weekly magazine, the date should include the day, three-letter month, four-digit year. For example: 7 Apr 2013.

From a Newspaper

  • Author, Name. 'Title of Article.' Title of Newspaper City 28 Dec. 20XX. sec. 3: 9. Print

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