3. Full and Partial Citations

Full citations usually appear in a list at the end of the paper in a section titled variously bibliography, endnotes, references, and works cited. Footnotes, which provide the full citation on the same page as the information cited, may also be used. The citation style you use and your professor’s preferences determine the type of full citation you should use. The type of citation list you use also depends on whether you refer to, or cite, the source inside the text of your document.
  • Bibliographies usually list all the sources you used in the course of your research whether or not you end up citing them in your paper.
  • References only list the sources you actually use in your paper.
  • Endnotes, Footnotes and Works Cited are variations on References. They only include citations for those sources you directly cite in the body of your text. Endnotes and footnotes are formatted such that a direct tie is established to the location in the text where the source is cited.

Footnotes example

Partial citations are used when referring to a source within the text of your paper and are usually located close to where the source’s information is used. Citing the source in the body of the paper usually provides just enough information to to tie it to the full citation located in a footnote, endnote, or other type of reference. There are a two common techniques used in citing a source in the body of a paper.
  • Signal phrases, usually the author’s name, can be used as a lead-in to the quote or other information from the source.
  • In-text citations use an identifier, such as a number or the author’s last name in parentheses, after the quote or place where the idea is referred to.
  • Often the signal phrase and in-text citation are used together.

References example

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Last updated 8/23/2012 by Sue Thompson
contact: sthompsn@csusm.edu