Journal Article Citations

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  • 0:07 Journal Article Citations
  • 0:57 What is a Journal Article?
  • 1:47 Citing in the Text
  • 3:13 Citing in Your Reference Page
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Doresa Jennings

Doresa holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies.

One of the most common citations used in academic writing is that of journal articles. In this video, we will learn all about putting journal article citations into our text and works cited pages. The citations in this video are in APA style; before you sit down to make a works cited page, make sure to check what style your discipline requires.

Journal Article Citations

One of the most common citations found in academic writing is information from journal articles. There are hundreds of different types of journals available for review. The journals you use will depend on the topic you are writing about. In this video, we will be learning about citing journal articles often used in academic writing. While there are many types of formats in which academic writing is cited, from APA to MLA to Chicago, for this video we will be using APA formatting for our examples. Although the core elements are the same between most styles, keep in mind that each formatting style has its own specific rules for the order in which information is cited, so make sure to check a style guide if you're using something other than APA for your essay.

What is a Journal Article?

Let's start with the basics. A journal article is a work published in a written or electronic medium. Journals are released on a consistent schedule - some monthly, some quarterly, some annually. The most common type of journal you will use in academic writing is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. A peer reviewed scholarly journal is a journal in which all the articles published have first been reviewed by a panel of the author's peers. These peers are often individuals that work in the field that is the focus of the journal. For instance, the reviewers from the Journal for the American Medical Association are often clinicians, scientists, or researchers that work extensively and often times exclusively in the medical field.

Citing in the Text

An in-text citation is a citation utilized in the body of your writing. When citing in the text, you need two pieces of information from your journal article: the name of the author or authors and the year of publication. You will be using the last name of the author only. If there are two authors, you will list both names separated by the word 'and.' Make sure to list the names in the order in which they are written in the article itself. So, an article written in 2009 by Smith and James would look like this:

(Smith & James, 2009)

You could also use the name of the authors in a sentence. For instance:

Research by Smith and James (2009) states that...

If there are between 3 and 5 authors, you would use each of the authors' names the first time they are mentioned, and then in all following references you would use the first author's name and the phrase 'et al', meaning 'and others.'

So for instance, if you had Smith, James and Winston, you might say

(Smith, James & Winston, 2012) the first time they're mentioned, but the next time you would say (Smith et al., 2009)

If there are 6 or more authors, you will list all the authors in your references, but would only ever need to refer to them by the first author 'et al' even the first time you mention them.

Your citation would look like this:

(Smith et al., 2012)

If you are using a direct quote, meaning you will be listing what the author has written word-for-word, also include the page number on which the quote can be found. It is important to get context correct when citing any source, but it is extremely important to also get every word in the correct order when citing a direct quote. Including the page number allows your readers to look the direct quote up for themselves.

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