The author-date method employs both a reference list and in-text citations (similar to those used in APA) which note the author’s last name, year of publication, as well as the page number(s) from which you’re citing.
Citing Sources in the Text
The format for in-text citations depends on how you acknowledge a source in your writing: if the author is acknowledged in the sentence; if the author is not acknowledged in the sentence, if an author has multiple publications in the same year, and if you’re referencing a trend, rather than a specific work.
The following is a sample set of in-text citations using the author-date method:
Sample In-Text Citations
When the author’s name is referenced in the sentence:
If you use the author’s name in your sentence, you’ll need to place the year of publication in parentheses after the author’s name and the page numbers you’re referencing in parentheses at the end of the relevant sentence or phrase:
- Sara Lindberg (2008) argues that gender identity plays a role in human development (24).
- Sara Lindberg (2008) argues that gender identity plays a role in human development (37-39), and Myra Marx Ferree (2015) has argued that gender affects everything from individuals to institutions (36).
When the author’s name is not referenced in the sentence:
If you don’t use the author’s name in your sentence, but discuss information you are referencing from another source, you should place the author(s) name(s), the year of publication, and the page numbers within parentheses at the end of the relevant sentence or phrase.
- Gender identity plays a role in human development (Lindberg 2008, 24).
- Although gender identity certainly plays a role in human development (Lindberg 2008, 24), it affects all individuals and institutions within a society (Ferree 2015, 36).
When an author has multiple works published in the same year:
If you’re referencing multiple sources published in the same year by the same author (or group of authors), use lowercase letters to differentiate your in-text citations.
- But whereas railroad companies were seeking financial breaks via legislative assistance in the mid-19th century (Dunlavy, 2006a, 1374), several decades later, they were being criticized for providing too much of a break to oil companies as a way to boost their transportation demands (Dunlavy, 2006b, 262).
- Colleen Dunlavy (2006a) clarifies that while railroad companies were seeking financial breaks via legislative assistance in the mid-19th century (1374), several decades later, they were being criticized for providing too much of a break to oil companies as a way to boost their transportation demands (Dunlavy, 2006b, 262).
When referencing a trend, rather than a specific work:
If you’re referencing a group of sources to establish a trend, drawing from the sources’ central arguments (rather that drawing information from a particular page of a particular source), you can acknowledge those sources in a list enclosed within parentheses.
- A number of studies have shown that gender identity affects our lives (Ferree 2015; Lindberg 2008a; Lindberg 2008b).
- This essay draws on previous research which suggest that gender identity affects our lives (Ferree 2015; Lindberg 2008a; Lindberg 2008b) in order to argue that we need to acknowledge the role gender plays in our teaching.
Citing Sources at the End of the Text
The reference list (as it is called in the author-date system) is placed at the end of your paper, is a double-spaced alphabetized list of books, articles, and other sources used in writing the paper. This list provides all of the information someone would need to locate the source you’re referencing. This list titled “References” in the author-date system whereas it is called “Bibliography” in the note-bibliography system, and in the author-date references, the date of publication is the second element of each entry whereas the date appears towards the end of a bibliographic citation.
The reference list form differs from author-date citations in these ways:
- Sources are alphabetized. The author’s last name appears first (Smith, Betty) in a reference list.
- While author-date citations usually indicate specific pages from which you took information; a bibliography lists entire books or a complete chapter to which you referred.
If there is no distinguishable author for a source, use the name of the editor, compiler, or translator followed by the abbreviation ed., comp., or trans. respectively in place of the author’s name. If the work was not edited, compiled, or translated, lead with the name of the organization or (in the case of articles) the publisher. If none of these are identifiable, then use the title of the work as the first item in the reference entry.
A sample reference list follows. Notice the form and order of the entries as well as the punctuation and arrangement within the entries. The sourced referenced are the same as those used in the author-date citations above.
Boyer, Paul S. 2002. Purity in Print: Book Censorship in America from the Gilded Age to the Computer Age. 2nd ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Child, Julia, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. 1961. Mastering the Art of French Cooking. New York: Knopf.
CIA (Central Intelligence Association). 2009. CIA World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. [Putting the organization’s full name in parentheses after the abbreviation allows you to just use the shortened “CIA” in your in-text citations.]
Dunlavy, Colleen. 2006a. “Social Conceptions of the Corporation: Insights from the History of Shareholder Voting Rights.” Wash. And Lee L. Rev 63: 1347-88.
—. 2006b. “Why Did American Businesses Get So Big?” In Major Problems in American Business History, edited by Regina Blaszczyk and Philip Scranton, 257-63. New York: Houghton-Mifflin.
Gates, Henry Louis, and Nellie Y. McKay, eds. 1997. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: Norton.
Geller, Anne Ellen, Michele Eodice, Frankie Condon, Meg Carroll, and Elizabeth H. Boquet. 2007. The Everyday Writing Center. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.
Greenberg, Mark T., Celene Domitrovich, and Brian Bumbarger. 2001. “The Prevention of Mental Disorders in School-Age Children: Current State of the Field.” Prevention and Treatment 4: 1-62.
Johnson, Kirk. 2013. “Health Care Is Spread Thin on Alaskan Frontier.” New York Times, May 28, 2013. https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/us/health-care-in-vast-alaska-frontier-is-spread-thin.html.
Lindberg, Sara M. 2008. “Gender-Role Identity Development During Adolescence: Individual, Familial, and Social Contextual Predictors of Gender Intensification.” Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Marshall, Nancy Rose. 1999/2000. Review of Joseph Crawhill, 1861-1913, One of the Glasgow Boys, by Vivian Hamilton. Victorian Studies 42: 358-60.
Marshall, Tyler. 1985. “200th Birthday of Grimms Celebrated.” Los Angeles Times, 15 March 1985, sec. 1A.
Marwell, Gerald, and Pamela Oliver. 2007. The Critical Mass in Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Morris-Jones, John. 1911. “Wales.” In Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed. 29 vols. New York: Encyclopedia Britannica Corporation. 258-70.
Nadler, Steven. 2011. A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Neville, Leonora. 2008. Authority in Byzantine Provincial Society, 950-1100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Reprinted. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O: A Presidential Novel. 2011. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Sánchez, Raúl. 2012. “Outside the Text: Retheorizing Empiricism and Identity.” College English 74: 234-46.
Soderbergh, Steven, dir. 2008. Che: Part One. New York: IFC Films. DVD.
United Nations. 2018. “Human Rights.” Accessed August 5, 2018. http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/human-rights/.
Wandel, Lee Palmer. 1998. “Setting the Lutheran Eucharist.” Journal of Early Modern History 17: 124-55. doi: 10.1163/157006598X00135.
Wikipedia. 2018. S.v. “Charles R. Van Hise.” Last modified April 30, 2018, 15:21, http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Charles_R._Van_Hise.
Young, Morris. 2013. “What Is Asian American? What is Asian American Literature?” Lecture at University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 22, 2013.