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Art History

A subject guide for art history at Colorado Mountain College

No matter what style you're using, citations need a few basic elements:

  1. Author: who wrote it?
  2. Title: what's this article called?
  3. Publication: which journal or publisher published the piece?
  4. Date: When was it published? Which issue and volume?
  5. Page: Where is it in the journal?
  6. DOI: Where can your readers find it online?

Depending on which style, those elements will look a little different in your citation.  Let's look at citations for the article "Effects of a brief grateful thinking intervention on college students' mental health," written by Tyler L. Renshaw and Dana K. Rock.  It appeared in the journal Mental Health & Prevention, volume 9, in March 2018, on pages 19-24.  It can be found online at

APA 7th Ed.

Renshaw, T. L., & Rock, D. K. (2018). Effects of a brief grateful thinking intervention on college students' mental health. Mental Health & Prevention, 9, 19-24.

MLA 9th Ed.

Renshaw, Tyler L., and Dana K. Rock. “Effects of a Brief Grateful Thinking Intervention on College Students’ Mental Health.” Mental Health & Prevention, vol. 9, 2018, pp. 19–24. Accessed 17 Aug. 2023.

Reasons to cite:

Reason the first!

Imagine you're walking down the street, and a random person pulls you aside to let you know that 80% of artists are actually communists. And aliens. And maybe just unkind people, too.  Would your first reaction be to:

  • Nod and say "Huh, I never knew that, but I guess they are just kind of unkind, communist aliens, huh?" 
  • Or would you ask them where they got their information before you believed them?  (<--Do this one, please.)

The same applies when someone is reading your paper.  If you just throw a fact out without providing a source, why should they believe it?  Citing gives your words authority and believability.

Reason the second!

If you're using information in your paper that you found somewhere else (hint: this should almost always be the case), it's just polite to give credit to the original author.  Also, if you don't, you could be committing plagiarism, which is a big no-no.  Even if you're not directly quoting, if you paraphrase information or ideas from another source, you should cite.

Reason the third!

When you cite, you're helping other people learn, by helping them track down the sources you used, if they want to learn more.

Citation Examples

A list of citations in APA style

APA Citation Examples

More citation examples in APA style

APA Citation Examples, cont...