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SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (Medlin)

Introduction to the Field of Sociology

Citing sources

What is a Citation?

A citation is a standard way to document the book, article, website, and any other source of information you used in your research. It tells your reader where you found your information.

Students are expected to properly cite the sources used in their academic work in order to:

  • Give authors credit for their original ideas and research;
  • Enable readers to track ideas and research back to its original source.  

So, a citation includes the relevant information about a source you have used, such as author, title, publisher, date, pages, where you accessed the item. Below is an example of a citation in APA format:

Ashe, D. D., & McCutcheon, L. E. (2001). Shyness, loneliness, and attitude toward celebrities. Current Research in Social Psychology, 6, 124-133. Retrieved from  (Note: Needs to be in hanging indent format.)

A list of citations at the end of research papers creates the bibliography or works cited list, also called references. Citations that are used within the text of research papers are called in-text citations.



Annotated Bibliography

"An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited." (Cornell University Libraries)

For a guide to writing an annotated bibliography, see

Tutorial on Writing an Annotated Bibliograpy

Annotated Bibliography in APA Format

For an in-depth, 9-minute tutorial on creating an APA style annotated bibliography, watch the YouTube below:

What is a DOI?

DOI (Digital Object Identifier):  A character string used to uniquely identify an object, such as an electronic document. The DOI is a permanent identifier, unlike a URL (Web address) which is subject to change.  This is an example of a DOI for a scholarly journal article: 10.1111/lasr.12043.

APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, as opposed to the URL. Below is an example of a citation with a DOI assigned:

Brownlie, D. (2007). Toward effective poster presentations: An annotated bibliography. European Journal of Marketing, 41, 1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161 (Note: Use hanging indent format.)

APA Citation Help!

Confused about citation styles?  Don't know what  APA means?  Here are some places you can get help:

Writing Center (Kemp 105) will have tutors available to help with college writing at any phase of the writing process, including APA citations. Check their webpage for their current open hours.

Kirk Library has an Citations webpage that has links to citation guides.     

Try citation generators such as BibMe and KnightCite. Be sure to select APA format.

Purdue Online Writing Lab - Purdue University has a great website that will help you with  APA citations.

By the way, APA is the American Psychological Association's preferred style to document the research materials (books, encyclopedia, articles, documentary films, personal interviews, etc.) that you used to write your research paper. For your information, MLA style is usually used in the Humanities disciplines, and APA style in the Social Sciences.

There are other citation styles, like Chicago or Turabian, that you may be required to use elsewhere, but MLA and APA are the two major citation styles used at Centralia College. 

Your instructor wants you to use APA style for this class.

APA Manual

This book is available in the Library:

APA Tutorial

For an introduction to APA style, take a look at these online tutorials:

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