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Bruin Success with Less Stress

Tip 1: How to Interpret What You See When Researching

Mountain of booksWhen you're researching, knowing that you're looking at a record or citation for a book, a journal article, a newspaper article, etc. will not only help you get the item more quickly, but it will also help you accurately follow the citation style that your professor requires.

Books

If you were searching the UCLA Library catalog, you'd see something like this:

"Name: Rhonda V. Wilcox and David Lavery; Title: Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Published: Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, c2002.; Physical Description: xxix, 290 p. ; 24 cm.; Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-272) and index.; ISBN: 0742516806"

Big hints that this is a record for a book:

  • it includes the city and state of publication, as well as the year it was published
  • it's 290 pages long
  • it has 11 pages of bibliographical references and an index
  • the "B" in "ISBN" stands for "book"

Citations for books usually include the author's or editor's name, title of the book, place of publication, publisher, and year of publication. Be sure to keep track of this information so you can write your citations for your bibliography later.

Here's what the complete MLA Citation for this book would look like at the end of a paper:

Wilcox, Rhonda and David Lavery, eds. Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

Journal Articles

If you were searching an article database, you'd see something like this:

Author: Early, Frances H.; Title: Staking Her Claim: Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Transgressive Woman Warrior; Source: Journal of Popular Culture, Winter 2001 v35 i3 p11-27

Big hints that this is a record for a journal article:

  • it includes the title of the journal (source) and the title of the article
  • it includes a volume number—"v35" means "volume 35"
  • it includes an issue number—"i3" means "issue 3"
  • it includes a season (Winter), but not all journal citations include this information
  • it's 16 pages long

Citations for journal articles usually include the author's name, title of the article, title of the journal, volume number, issue number, date of publication, and page numbers. Be sure to keep track of this information so you can write your citations for your bibliography later. You'll also need this information to find the article in the library.

Here's what the complete MLA Citation for this article would look like at the end of a paper:

Early, Frances H. "Staking Her Claim: Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Transgressive Woman Warrior." Journal of Popular Culture 35.3 (2001): 11-27.

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