One of the keys to citing correctly is knowing what it is you are citing. Are you citing from a database with original content (ABC CLIO, Britannica), with reprinted reference book information (Gale Virtual Reference Library and others), from a magazine, journal (JStor is all journals), newspaper (ProQuest Histprical Newspapers), website? How can you tell?
The databases provide clues in their citations, no matter what style they are using.
If the information from the database includes:
- a date of publication as a year and includes a publisher, it is most likely a book or reference source. Reference Sources Include anything with the words Encyclopedia or Dictionary in the title.
- a full date of publication, including day, month, and year, it is most likely a newspaper. Also if the title of the source has the words Post, Times, or the name of a city in it, it is probably a newspaper.
- a season and a year indicates it is probably a journal.
- a month and a year indicates it might be a magazine or journal. Sometimes magazines have complete dates too.
- When in doubt, Google the name of the source!