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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Writing Citations in Music


What is This Guide?

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 the 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.

How to Use This Guide

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

On each of those pages is a list of types of items. The layout for each item follows a general pattern as shown below.

1) This is the type of work this title is an example of.

2) This links to the library's catalog and provides the example's call number so that you can locate the example within MPAL and the University Library.

3) This provides a link to the Chicago Manual of Style's (CMoS's) rules for this type of work. The link is to the Chicago Manual of Style Online.

4) In the grey box is a template for how to write a bibliography citation for this type of work. Below it is the proper bibliographic citation for this title.

5) In the grey box is a template for how to write a footnote entry for this type of work. Below it is the proper footnote for this title.

More Resources

This guide was written by Thom Jencks, MPAL Graduate Assistant in Spring of 2019.

Credit for organization and concept given to Katie Buehner, head of the Rita Benton Music Library at the University of Iowa. Her guide can be found here.