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Click APA or MLA for examples, tips, & tricks on proper citation.

Center for Excellence in Writing

APA by Format Type: Choose Below

APA (American Psychological Association) style is generally used in the social sciences.  As the publishing standard, APA style also provides guidelines for paper formatting.

Books and monographs, including reference books, dictionaries and other items, are generally cited using the following format:


Author, A. A. (year).  Title of work.  Location: Publisher.

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Retrieved from http://www.websiteadress

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. doi: xx.xxxxxxxx

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (year). Title of work.  Location: Publisher.


Please note that APA uses sentence capitalization rules for the title of the item, meaning that generally only the first word, proper nouns, and the first word following a colon are capitalized.  For more specific examples, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Journals are items that are published on a regular basis and are also referred to as 'periodicals'.  There is a general basic format for citing journal articles in APA style.  Please remember that the reference list must be double-spaced with a hanging indent.  Examples are taken from Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association unless otherwise noted.



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. (2015, May). An environmental management system review of the National Park Service: Based on the code of environmental management principles. Retrieved from


In-text citation

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000)

For items retrieved online, please include the website.  The examples below are general in nature.  Please always double-check your citations using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

The FIU Libraries currently has Kindles available for check, with a variety of other e-readers to be available in the future.  In order to cite e-books on the devices, follow the examples below, taken from the APA Style Blog.  

In both cases, the edition of the e-book is related.  The DOI should be included, if available.  For citing particular passages, either paraphrase with correct in-text citations or refer to Section 6.05 of the APA Manual and follow the rules for quotations from online sources.

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing”  (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).

MLA by Format

MLA style is generally used by subject areas in the humanities.  Overall, it is simpler than other styles, featuring parenthetical citations and an alphabetized list of references at the end.  Entries for the list of works cited must be aphabetical and double-spaced, with the indent of the subsequent line one-half inch from the left margin.

For more detailed information for each of these format types, please refer to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

Note that there are some small changes from MLA 7th edition and 8th edition. 

In MLA 8th ed., for non-periodical items, core elements of the citation are (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author (or editor, compiler, or translator).
  • Title of source.
  • Other contributors,
  • Publisher,
  • Publication date.



Single author:

Jacobs, Alan. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. Oxford University Press, 2011.


Two authors:

​Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdich. The Crown of Columbus. HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.


Three or more authors:

Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital_Humanities. MIT Press, 2012.

Many databases now have the ability to generate citations for you.  Citations generally follow the same rules of citing print journal article, except with the additional information included: the title of the database, medium of publication (Web), and the date of access.

In MLA 8th ed., for online journal articles, core elements of the citation are (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author (or editor, compiler, or translator).
  • Title of source.
  • Title of container (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.),
  • Other contributors,
  • Number (volume, issue),
  • Publication date,
  • Page numbers.
  • Title of larger container (database, website name, etc.),
  • Location (website URL).



Goldman, Anne. "Questions of Transport: Reading Primo Levi Reading Dante." The Georgia Review, vol. 64, no. 1,

2010, pp.69-88. JSTOR,

In MLA 8th ed., for print journal articles, core elements of the citation are (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author.
  • Title of source.
  • Title of container (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.),
  • Number (volume, number),
  • Publication date, 
  • Page numbers.



Baron, Naomi S. "Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media." PMLA, vol. 128, no.1,

Jan. 2013, pp.193-200.


In MLA 8th ed., for websites/web pages, core elements of the citation are (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author (editors, etc.).
  • Title of source.
  • Publication date/range, 
  • Location (URL).
  • Date of access (optional).



Website/project as a whole:

Eaves, Morris, et al., editors. The William Blake Archive. 1996-2014,


Page on a site, comments on a web page, blog post, part of a site, tweet, etc.:

Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory. Purdue University, 28 Nov. 2003,

Accessed 10 May 2006.

Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow,

Accessed 6 July 2015.

Bernstein, Mark. "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web." A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites,

16 Aug. 2002, Accessed 4 May 2009.

@tombrokaw. "SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign." Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012,

3:06 a.m.,

In MLA 8th ed., for newspapers/newspaper articles, core elements of the citation are (irrelevant elements should be eliminated):

  • Author.
  • Title of source.
  • Title of container (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.),
  • Number (volume, number),
  • Publication date, 
  • Page numbers.
  • Location (URL, if in online/digital format)

Cite a newspaper article as you would a magazine article, but note the different pagination in a newspaper. If there is more than one edition available for that date (as in an early and late edition of a newspaper), identify the edition after the article title.



Brubaker, Bill. "New Health Center Targets County's Uninsured Patients." Washington Post, 24 May 2007, p. LZ01.

Krugman, Andrew. "Fear of Eating." New York Times, 21 May 2007, late ed., p. A1.

Pelley, Lauren. “Toronto Public Library Opens its 100th Branch.” Toronto Star, 21 May 2015. Accessed October 12, 2015.


If the newspaper is a less well-known or local publication, include the city name in brackets after the title of the newspaper.

Behre, Robert. "Presidential Hopefuls Get Final Crack at Core of S.C. Democrats." Post and Courier 

[Charleston, SC], 29 Apr. 2007, p. A11.

Trembacki, Paul. "Brees Hopes to Win Heisman for Team." Purdue Exponent [West Lafayette, IN],

5 Dec. 2000, p. 20.

Why Cite? Citation Help

Using proper citation style allows us to give credit to the creators of the material we are using.  It is how we use information responsibly and respectfully.  By using citations, our claims and theories become more authorized and credible because we are providing supporting evidence from other sources.  Citations also allow us to be honest about our contributions and avoid plagiarism.  This guide was created to help you find the information you need to be able to create citations properly, avoid plagiarism, and introduce you to citation generators. 

While finding the right information is important, it is also just as important to use that information ethically

Concerns, procedures and sanctions about academic honesty are articulated in the FIU Code of Academic Integrity which was adopted by the Student Government Association on November 28, 2001. The following Pledge from the FIU Student Handbook specifically discourages plagiarism:

As a student of this university:

  1. I will be honest in my academic endeavors.
  2. I will not represent someone else's work as my own.
  3. I will not cheat, or will I aid in another's cheating.


 Use of the World Wide Web as a research resource has exacerbated the problem of plagiarism in colleges and universities worldwide.

Here are links to online citation generators.  For the purposes of creating a quick, one-time citation in the correct style, these websites will generate citations once the information has been provided.


Looking for more in-depth citation help?  Visit our citation guides for help and info on specific styles and document types and citation generator comparisons.    



RefWorks Account: Managing your Research

RefWorks is a citation software that allows researchers to save and organize their citations as well as generate bibliographies and works cited lists. Citations from numerous databases can be imported into RefWorks easily.

RefWorks is in the middle of a transition right now! Use the guide below to help you decide which version of RefWorks to use or sign up for.