Tips

Author(s)

Authors of works are individuals or groups who participated in its creation. Individuals and groups may appear together in a reference as authors of a work.

Individual names used in a reference generally appear in the formats "LastName, A. A." or "A. A. LastName" depending on location in the reference. For example, "Obama, B. H." or "B. H. Obama."

Group authors can be businesses, government agencies, associations, non-profit organizations, task forces, hospitals, and study groups. In a reference full group names are spelled out. For example, "Delaware County Community College" rather than "DCCC." 

Authors in specialized roles such as editors, directors, and so on are identified as such. For example, a director as author would appear as "Anderson, W. W. (Director)."

Who is used as author varies based on the media type as follows:

  • Film - director
  • TV series - executive producer
  • TV series episode - writer and director of episode
  • Podcast - host or executive producer
  • Webinar - instructor
  • Classical music album or song - composer
  • Modern music album or song - artist
  • Artwork - artist
  • Online streaming video - whoever uploaded
  • Photograph - photographer

Titles 

In reference citations these titles appear in "sentence case." This means that as with a sentence, most words are lowercase. Words capitalized are:

  • first word of a title or subtitle
  • first word after a colon or dash
  • proper nouns

These titles are also italicized.

Bracketed Descriptions

For less standard sources, after the title bracketed descriptions are often provided to identify what these sources are exactly. There are no absolute rules about the language used to describe such sources, but research paper writers try to be as consistent as is reasonable. Only the first word of these descriptions are capitalized. Some examples:

  • [Film}
  • [TV series]
  • [Video]
  • [Album]
  • [Audio podcast]
  • [Painting]
  • [Photograph]
  • [Map]
  • [Tweet]
  • [Facebook page]

URLs

  • stands for "universal resource locator," and normally appears in the editable box near the top of your browser screen
  • include the "https://" or "http://" the URL of the website begins with
  • do not add a period at the end
  • a retrieval date is needed with a URL only for sources which are designed to change and for which prior versions are not archived 

Audiovisual Works (Movie, Video, TV Series, TED Talk, YouTube Video, Etc.)

Format for Film (Motion Picture, Documentary, Video)

Director last name, Initial(s) (Director). (Release YYYY). Title of film [Film]. Production Company.

Note: how the film was viewed (DVD, streaming, theater, etc.) is not required.

Example

Garbus, L. (Director). (2016). What happened, Miss Simone? [Film]. Netflix.

Format for a TV Series

Executive producer last name, Initial(s) (Executive Producer). (Series start YYYY-series end YYYY). Title of series [TV series]. Production Company(ies).

Example

Basch, G., Bush, E., Clement, J., Rudin, S., Simms, P., & Waititi, T. (Executive Producers). (2019-present). What we do in the shadows [TV series]. FX Productions; Two Canoes Pictures; 343 Incorporated; FX Network.  

Format for a TV Series Episode

Episode writer last name, Initial(s) (Writer), & Director last name, Initial(s) (Director). (Air date YYYY, Month name DD). Episode name (Season #, Episode #) [TV series episode]. In Executive producer Initial(s) Last name (Executive Producer), Title of series. Production Company(ies).

Example

Bob-Waksberg, R., & Purdy, K. (Writers), & Hulsing, H. (Director). (2019, September 13). The hospital (Season 1, Episode 2) [TV series episode]. In E. Aron, R. Bob-Waksberg, N. Bright, J. Calo, T. Pallotta, & K. Purdy (Executive Producers), Undone. Minnow Mountain; Submarine.    

Format for YouTube Video and Other Streaming Videos

Group or Person who uploaded the video last name, Initial(s) [Username if applicable]. (Upload date YYYY, Month name DD). Title of video [Video]. Website name. URL

Example

CrashCourse. (2019, January 8). Introduction to Crash Course navigating digital information #1 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLlv2o6UfTU

Audio Works (Music, Podcasts, Etc.)

Format for a Music Album

Artist last name, Initial(s). (Publication YYYY). Album title [Album]. Label.

NOTE: How the album was listened to (streaming, CD, etc.) is not required; a URL is required if it is the only means of retrieval.

Example

Lizzo. (2019). Cuz I love you [Album]. Atlantic.

Format for a Song From a Music Album

Artist last name, Initial(s). (Publication YYYY). Song title [Song]. On Album title [Album]. Label.

Example

Fish, S. (2019). Bulletproof - Tangle Eye Mix [Song].  On Kill or be kind. Rounder.

Format for an Audio Podcast

Host last name, Initial(s) (Host). (Series start YYYY-series end YYYY). Title of podcast [Audio podcast]. Production company(ies). URL if accessed online

Example

Rocca, M. (Host). (2019-present). Mobituaries [Audio podcast]. CBS News; Simon & Schuster. https://www.mobituaries.com/the-podcast/

Format for an Episode of an Audio Podcast

Host last name, Initial(s) (Host). (Air date YYYY, Month name DD). Title of episode (No. #) [Audio podcast episode]. In Title of podcast. Production company(ies). URL if accessed online

Example

Glass, I. (Host). (2019, November 15). The out crowd (No. 688) [Audio podcast episode]. In This American life. WBEZ Chicago. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/688/the-out-crowd

Visual Works (Artwork, Photographs, Maps, Etc.)

Format for Artwork from a Museum

Artist last name, Initial(s). (Creation YYYY). Title of work [Format]. Museum Name. URL if accessed online

Example

Cassatt, M.S. (1881). A woman and a girl driving [Painting] . Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/104447.html?mulR=739928573|1

Format for Photographs and Artwork not From a Museum

Creator last name, Initial(s). (Creation YYYY). Title of photograph [Photograph]. Where retrieved from. URL if accessed online

Example

Barry, D.F. (1885). Standing Holy, daughter of Sitting Bull, Dakota, bust [Photograph]. Digital Collections, Denver Public Library. http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/68828/rec/5

Format for a Map

Group name or Map creator last name, Initial(s). (Publication YYYY). Title of map [Map]. Map publisher. URL if accessed online

Example

Beers, S.N., & Lake, D.J. (1860). Map of the vicinity of Philadelphia [Map]. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. https://shorturl.at/buO58