Bibliography & Footnote Style Guide


In academic writing, it is important to cite your references - in other words, to acknowledge and document the authors' works which you have consulted and used in your own work. There are a number of different options for formatting citations. Certain bibliographic styles correspond to certain disciplines, and you often may have a specific style assigned to you for a project. However, the most important thing to remember is that your citation style must be consistent throughout a single paper.

Automatic Citation Formatting

  • For information on RefWorks, ProCite, and EndNote, software used to help you import and organize your bibliography, see
  • For quick citations in MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) style, see the Citation Wizard:

This Guide Contains Information on:
  1. Style Guides and Manuals
  2. Electronic Citations
  3. Examples of Bibliographic Citations
  4. Citing Within the Paper


1. Style Guides And Manuals Used in Scholarly Writing

Different disciplines use their own styles for bibliographies and footnotes. Choose among the following examples, or ask a librarian for the appropriate style guide for your subject area.


  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
    Bobst Atrium Z253 .U69 2003 Non-circulating
  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 6th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
    Bobst Ref1 LB2369.T8 1996


General & Literature
  • Gibaldi, Joseph and Walter S. Achtert. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. New York: Modern Language Association, 1999.
    Bobst Ref1 LB2369.G53 1999
  • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. New York: Modern Language Association, 1998.
    Bobst Ref1 PN147.G444 1998
  • Wingell, Richard. Writing About Music: An Introductory Guide. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.
    Bobst ARES ML3797.W54 2002
Performing Arts
  • Research and Documentation Online [electronic resource]
    Hacker, Diana, 1942.
    Includes the documentation of live performance

Social Sciences

Most Social Sciences
  • APA. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2001.
    Bobst Ref6 BF76.7.P83 2001
  • Siegal, Allen G. The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage. New York: Times Books, 1999.
    Bobst Ref1 PN4783.S57 1999

Government Documents

  • Garner, Diane L. and Diane H. Smith. The Complete Guide to Citing Government Documents: A Manual for Writers and Librarians. Bethesda: Congressional Information Service, 1993.
    Bobst Ref6 Z7164.G7G37 1993


  • Scientific Style and Format: the CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
    Bobst Ref9 T11.S386 1994
(including equations)
  • Smith, Marian. How to Type Mathematics and Science. Port Credit ONT: P. D. Meany, 1984.
    Bobst Ref9 Z49.S656
Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Iverson, Cheryl. American Medical Association Manual of Style. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1998.
    Bobst Ref9 R119.A533 1998
  • Sheridan, Donna Richards. How to Write and Publish Articles in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1997.
    Bobst RT24.S54 1997
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2. Electronic Citations

These sources describe the major elements of citing electronic sources according to various styles.

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3. Examples of Bibliographical Citations

**Please note that bibliographies generally use a hanging indent format. Also, titles of books and titles of journals are always underlined. The following examples are limited by the constraints of the web browser.

The following examples use the MLA Bibliography format. Consult the previous list of guides for other specific styles.


Author Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Publication City: Publisher, Year.

one author
Coren, Stanley. Sleep Thieves: An Eye-Opening Exploration into the Science and Mysteries of Sleep. New York: Free Press, 1996.
two or three authors
Pascualy, Ralph A. and Sally Warren Soest. Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Personal and Family Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Raven Press, 1994.
more than three authors
Reite, Martin, et al. Concise Guide to Evaluation and Management of Sleep Disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1990.
Pressman, Mark R. and William C. Orr, eds. Understanding Sleep: The Evaluation and Treatment of Sleep Disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1997.
institutional author
European Congress on Sleep Research. The Sleep 1982: Physiology, Pharmacology, Sleep Factors, Memory, Sleep Factors, Memory, Sleep Deprivation, Hypnotics. Basel; New York: Karger, 1983.

Essays and Book Chapters

Author Lastname, Firstname. "Essay or Chapter Title." Title of Book. Editor of Book Firstname Lastname. Publication City: Publisher, Year. Page numbers of essay or chapter.

in a book or anthology
Rechtschaffen, Allan. "The Single-Mindedness and Isolation of Dreams." The Mythomanias: The Nature of Deception and Self-Deception. Ed. Michael S. Mysobodsky. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997. 135-157.


Article Author Lastname, Firstname. "Article Title." Source Name. Volume. Issue Date: pages.

scholarly journal
Martensen, Robert L. "The Somnolence of Sleep Research." JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 274.20 (1995): 16-43.
popular journal
Boiter, Cynthia. "Terrors in the Night." Parenting Dec. 1995: 215.
Hamlin, Suzanne. "Sleepy? Maybe it's the Turkey." New York Times 23 Nov. 1994, late ed.: C4.
"Dreams." Encyclopedia of Psychology. New York: Wiley, 1984.

Full-Text Articles in Databases

Article Author Lastname, Firstname. "Article Title." Source Name Volume. Issue Date: page(s). Database. Subscription Service. Library where accessed, City, State. Date of Access. .

* If the article is in PDF format, you can cite it as you would an article found in a print journal-- the above citation directions are for articles found in full-text through a database, in HTML format.

scholarly journal
Williamson, Alan. "The Poet-Critic." The American Poetry Review 24 (January/February 1995): 37-40. WilsonOmni. Wilson Web. NYU's Bobst Lib., New York, NY. 5 Jan. 2003. .
popular journal
Kuchment, Anna. "DNA, Five Decades On." Newsweek 24 Feb. 2003: 58. Periodical Abstracts. ProQuest. NYU's Bobst Lib., New York, NY. 10 March 2003. .
Lacey, Mark. "Kenya's Ruling Party is Defeated After 39 Years." New York Times 30 Dec. 2002, late ed.: A1. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. Lexis-Nexis. NYU's Bobst Lib., New York, NY. 6 Feb. 2003. .

Electronic Citations

Author Lastname, Firstname. Document Title. Source Title, Volume. Issue (if appropriate). Date of Internet Publication. Name of Institution or Organization Sponsoring the Website (if appropriate). Date of Access. .

professional web site
Weinstein, Philip. The William Faulkner Society Home Page. 4 April 2002. William Faulkner Society. 4 Nov. 2002. .
scholarly project
Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. Ed. Michael Ullyot. 4 Nov. 2002. U of Toronto. 5 Nov. 2002. .

Government Documents

Government Department or Commission, Office. Title of Report. Editor of Report. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.

United States Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Aviation Medicine. Sleep in Air Traffic Controllers. Washington, D.C: GPO, 1977. Top of Page

4. Citing Within the Paper

**Please note that when using footnotes or parenthetical citations, you still need to include a "bibliography" or a "works cited" section at the end of your paper.

Check with your instructor or editor to determine whether footnotes or parenthetical citations are required.

Parenthetical Citation
Some style guides (MLA, APA) recommend parenthetical citation instead of footnotes (although footnotes may be used with MLA). Insert a parenthesis with the author's last name and the page number at the end of a sentence.

Example: (Coren 142).

Just as for a bibliography, different style guides require footnotes to be formatted in different ways. You should consult the most recent guide for your discipline for details.

Example: Using the MLA style to cite a reference with a footnote, insert a number at the place where you want to acknowledge another author's words, facts, or ideas. Then, at the bottom of the page, repeat the number and follow it with the citation information. For example.1 (see below).

Footnote numbers should start with 1, and follow sequentially. If you cite a source a second time, you do not need to include the full citation, just the author's name and page number. 2 (see below).

The footnote style is basically the same as for bibliographies, except that:

  • The author's name is not inverted
  • Include the page number you are citing
  • Book Publication information is in parentheses
  • Footnotes do not use a hanging indent - indent the first line only.

1Stanley Coren. Sleep Thieves: An Eye-Opening Exploration Into the Science and Mysteries of Sleep. (New York: Free Press, 1996) 142.
2Coren 143.

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