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PSCI 221: Soil & Water Conservation: Citing Sources

Northeastern Naturalist Citation Style

Common Sources

Citation Type Literature Cited In-Text Citation
Journal Article Brodie, E.D., Jr., M. Barnes, and E.D. Brodie III. 1980. Differential avoidance of mimetic salamanders by free-ranging birds: The effect of temperature. Science 208:181–182. (Brodie et al. 1980)
Website National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 2000. Gulf of Mexico current data: 1990–1999. Available online at Accessed 14 February 2007. (NOAA 2000)
Book Conard, H.S., and P.J. Redfearn. 1979. How to Know the Mosses. Wm. C. Brown, Dubuque, IA. 302 pp. (Conrad & Redfearn 1979)


Rules of Thumb

1. Three or more authors, use "et al." in your in-text citation, but list all authors as shown in the Literature Cited at the end of your work, as in Journal Article example above. If there are two authors, both of their last names appear in the in-text citation.

2. A group author, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), should be abbreviated in your in-text citation. See website example above.


Why Citation Matters

Citing is how you give credit to the sources you have used in your paper and avoid plagiarism. It allows other scholars (and your professor) to find those sources and verify your research.

A Citation style is a collection of guidelines used to make sure written papers follow a clear and consistent format. Some common elements of citation style are: headings, punctuation, presentation of numbers and statistics, construction of tables and figures and citation of references (Source: Official APA Website )

Always consult with your instructor to determine what citation style is required for your particular course.


When writing a paper, you MUST identify the source of any

  • quotation
  • facts
  • idea or opinion that is not your own

As you research, keep a good record of all the sources you use and where your information comes from. One of the most effective ways to avoid plagiarism is to summarize in your own words as you take notes, rather than copy whole selections word for word.