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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Citing Sources in the Performing Arts


Welcome to the Music & Performing Arts Library (MPAL) guide to citing sources in performing arts research! Use the tabs to the left to navigate the guide by selecting the citation style you're using. You'll find an overview of citation rules for different types of resources with examples to help guide you.

How to Use This Guide

On the left-hand side, you can navigate this guide by selecting "Chicago/Turabian", "MLA", or "APA" style. From there, you can choose which kind of work you would like to cite, such as a book, score, journal article, etc.

On each page is a list of different types of example items. The layout for each item follows a general pattern as shown in the example below:

Labeled diagram of an example citation


 1  This denotes the type of material of the examples. Select the appropriate tab for the specific type of example you need.

 2  This is where you will find additional information that may help with citing a particular material type in that citation style.

 3  This is an image of the specific example item, as well as a link either to the library's catalog or to an external site where the item can be accessed. Items from our catalog also include the call number so that you can locate them at the Library.

 4  This is where you will find templates and examples of the various citation conventions for each material type.

 5  This directs you to the specific sections of the Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and APA official style manuals, which you can reference for additional guidance. For those resources that are accessible online, the section titles have been hyperlinked.

Introduction to Citations

Citations are an invaluable resource in scholarly writing. They...

  • Show your reader that you have done diligent research by listing all sources you used to get your information.
  • Help you avoid plagiarism when quoting words and using ideas by other authors.
  • Allow you to be a responsible scholar by giving proper credit to other scholars.
  • Help your reader track down your cited sources by providing enough information in your footnotes or bibliography.

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place. Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them.

Style Guides can help you make sure that you use grammar correctly and write in a clear style when writing your paper. They are invaluable resources to consult when writing. Chicago, MLA, and APA all have style guides that will help you with your writing as well as with citing your resources. Additionally, there are other style guides that can help you with your writing more broadly. Links to some examples are provided below.

For more help, check out the resources below!