GEOG 430
Human Use of the Environment

Quick Guide to Citations & References


You will be expected to correctly reference your sources in each essay (including assigned materials and any outside sources you use), which will involve 1) citing these sources in the body of your paper, and 2) creating a reference list at the end of the paper. Appropriate sources include assigned readings and films, academic books and articles, and reputable newspapers. Unverifiable websites such as Wikipedia or are not reputable sources.

In this class, we will follow the APA style of citations, which is one of several styles commonly used in the discipline of geography. Please follow the guide below (taken from the 2009 UW-Madison Writing Center Handbook) for your citation and referencing style. Your papers will be graded according to these standards, and improper citations or failure to cite your sources will result in a partial loss of points for that assignment.

Parenthetical Citations

Parenthetical citations are citations to original sources that appear in the text of your paper. This allows the reader to see immediately where your information comes from, and it saves you the trouble of having to make footnotes or endnotes. The APA style calls for three kinds of information to be included in in-text citations. The author's last name and the work's date of publication must always appear, and these items must match exactly the corresponding entry in the references list. The third kind of information, the page number, appears only in a citation to a direct quotation. You have three options for placing citations in relation to your text:

Citations table
Option Description Sample Citation
1. Idea-focused Place the author(s) and date(s) in parentheses at an appropriate place in or at the end of a sentence Researchers have studied how children represent mathematical problems (Alibali, Phillips, & Fischer, 2009; Siegler, 1976).
2. Researcher-focused Place only the date in parentheses Alibali, Phillips, and Fischer (2009) asked, “Did the participants adopt the taught strategies?” (p. 96). [Note that you need to provide (a) page number(s) in parentheses for direct quotations. You do not need to provide a page number if you are summarizing or paraphrasing a source, rather than quoting.]
3. Chronology-focused Integrate both the author and date into your sentence In 2009 Alibali, Phillips, and Fischer reported that third- and fourth-grade students improved their problem representation when they were taught the equalize strategy but did not improve their problem representation when they were taught the add-subtract strategy.

Reference List Examples


Baxter, C. (1997). Race equality in health care and education. Philadelphia: Ballière Tindall.


Barringer, F. (2009, Sept. 14). Hawaii tries green tools in remaking power grid. The New York Times. Retrieved on Oct. 26, 2009 from

Journal Article

Murray, M. E. (2001). Outcomes of concurrent utilization review. Nursing Economics, 19, 17-23.


Last Name, F. (Personnel Type). (Year of Release). Film Title [Type of Film]. Country of Origin: Distributor.

Smith, J. (Director). (2009). BibMe: The movie [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia.

For more detailed information, please consult the UW-Madison Writing Center Handbook.

[i]You are welcome to use, for example, the Wikipedia entry for “The Mexican Revolution” as evidence of how information about the Mexican Revolution is shared on the Internet, but you may not use it as a reliable source about the Mexican Revolution itself!