Citing Electronic Sources (ranked choices)

February 2, 2008

Researching today happens online where sources are found and examined in their electronic format.  The resources below explain how to cite electronic sources from YouTube videos to blogs as well as how to cite sources found online through electronic databases or web sites.

#1-  Documenting Electronic Sources, The OWL at Purdue

Purdue’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) was one of the first such online services and remains one of the most respected.  Electronic sources are some of the most confusing types of sources to cite because the changing and expanding nature of new media means it often does not fit neatly into the traditional citation format structure.  This resource is really a conduit to links to specific resources on documenting electronic sources and is made up of three sections.  The first section is an overview of the issues concerning online sources.  The second section links to resources that examine the issues and intricacies of electronic sources in MLA, APA, and discipline-specific styles from Chicago Manual of Style to Biology/CBE style.  The final section is a list of links to online guides to citing electronic sources.

#2 – Columbia Guide to Online Style (2nd ed.), Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor

This is the companion web site for the book The Columbia Guide to Online Style and provides samples from the book on how to cite electronically accessed sources in MLA, Chicago, APA and CBE.

#3 – Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources
Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger

This companion web site includes a section on how to cite electronic sources from web sites to email messages in MLA, APA, Chicago, CBE, and other styles.  The book was published in 2003 and the website has not been updated since then making some of the most recent electronic source types such as blogs absent from the list.

#4- How to Cite Electronic Sources, The Library of Congress Learning Page

The Library of Congress has a “Learning Page” that explains how to cite sources accessed electronically such as cartoons, films, maps, photographs, sound recordings, presentations, texts, legal documents, and newspapers.


Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)

February 2, 2008

Developed by Chicago Press, this citation style is distinguished by its use of footnotes or endnotes.  This style is used in many disciplines from the humanities to the social sciences.

Chicago Manual of Style Online

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is one of the standard styles of the publishing world.  In 2006 CMS  finally produced an online version.  Full access to the manual requires a yearly subscription. 

Because the online service is new, they are offering an introductory subscription price for a single user of $25 per year.  There is also a 30-day free trial.

The site does include some noteworthy free services. The Quick Guide section offers an overview of the Chicago Manual of Style and includes electronic source examples. The  Q&A section is a cornucopia of tidbits about CMS and could be very helpful to students because the questions are common issues and the answers are practical and applicable.  The only drawback to this section is that it is organized by the month the question was submitted and not by topic.

Citation Guide – Chicago Manual of Style
The University of Arizona Library

Easy to read and navigate examples of bibliographic entries using the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition).

Chicago Style: History
Diana Hacker Resources

Examples of bibliographic, in-text and footnote entries of Chicago Style used in the discipline of History.