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NURP 410: Research Methods: Understanding Citations

This course guide is designed to support the 2SN students in NURS 410 and covers Library resources and tools, effective search strategies and examples of scholarly research formats.

What's on this page?

Literature in nursing and health sciences frequently uses the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style.  It's important to learn the "anatomy" of a citation in order to see how one is constructed and understand its component parts.  This understanding will help you to correctly format your own citations, with or without the use of a bibliographic management tool.

The first step to creating a good citation is to recognize the type of publication you're citing.  In other words, are you citing an article published in a scholarly journal?  Are you citing a book?  Are you citing a chapter from a book?  The boxes on this page will help you to identify publication type and recognize the key components of an APA citation for that type of publication.

The Cite Button

The majority of the Library's databases and electronic resources can generate a single citation for you.

Places to look for the Cite Button or other Citation Tools in E-Resouces:

  • The right-hand menu on the article abstract page.
  • At the top of the results list.
  • Immediately under each citation in the results list.
  • At the very bottom of an article or article abstract page.

This is where you would find the cite button in an article's record in CINAHL:

Online Citation Tools

Below is a selection of free online citation tools that can help students to create citations and manage bibliographies. Remember, though, that no online citation generator is 100% accurate. Please be sure to check your citations to make sure that they're correct!

The Writing Center

The Writing Center provides one-on-one tutoring, workshops and presentations to strengthen your academic reading, writing, critical thinking and research skills.  

Check out the Writing Center's Writing Resources for information on academic integrity, documentation styles, and more.

Parts of a Citation - Book

A cited reference for a book on a single topic is generally the simplest citation you'll see and includes the author's name, the title of the book, the publisher's name and location, and the year of publication.  Here is a typical APA citation for a book:

Parts of a Citation - Article

A cited reference to a journal article includes some key information that is not included in a citation for a book or any other type of material.  This information includes Volume, Number/Issue and Publication Date.  Here is a typical APA citation for a journal article:

Parts of a Citation - Book Chapter

A cited reference for a book chapter includes much of the same information found in a reference for an entire book. However, there are a few key differences that will help you to identify this particular type of material, including more than one title (the title of the chapter and the title of the book in which it was published), the name of the chapter's author and often the name of the book's editor. Here is a typical APA citation for a book chapter: