Writing Well

Citing Electronic Sources and CD-ROMs

Electronic sources are often missing key information such as the author and date. Use whatever information you can find for your citation. Given the staggering variety of sites on the Internet, you will have to adapt your documentation to a particular source. Include the information your reader would need to access the source.

Warning: Electronic sources can change without notice. Get the most up-to-date information but recognize that this may not always be possible.

  • Periodicals available on both CD-ROM and in print. Include in your citation all the information you would for a print magazine, as well as the publication medium (CD-ROM); the name of the distributor or vendor; and the electronic publication date.

    Engel, Diane. “Midwest Realities.” Time 1 December 1998: 34+. Midwest Voices. CD-ROM. InfoTrak. March 1999.
  • Periodicals available only on CD-ROM. Include the author, title, edition, publication medium (CD-ROM), distributor or vendor, city of publication, publisher, and date of publication.

    “Rocks and Gems.” Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. 1999 ed. CD-ROM. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
  • Online sources. Give the author's name (if available), the title of the source, the posting date, the identity of the group sponsoring the site (if known), the date of your access, and the Web site in angle brackets < >.

    “Holes in Space.” Space Science Institute. 5 January 1999. NASA 10 January 1999. <http://oposite.stcsi.edu/pubinfo/RP/35/>
  • E-mail. Give the sender's name, a description of the document, and the date of the communication.

    Cunningham, Tom. “Hawaii 5-0.” E-mail to Carol Lash. 17 August 1999.

Citing Pamphlets

Cite a pamphlet the same way you would a book.

Gordon, Marla Meg. “You and the Law.” Consumer Affairs Pamphlet 511 (September 1999): 23-45.

Citing Government Documents

The format varies with the information available. The basic citation for a government document looks like this:

Government agency. Subsidiary agency. Title of Document. Publication information.

For example:

United States Congressional House Subcommittee on Workfare. Federal Statement on Workfare. 99th Congress. Washington, DC: GPO, 1999.

Citing Interviews

Name the subject of the interview, followed by Personal interview or Telephone interview. Then comes the date.

Lichtenstein, Ellen. Personal interview. 1 September 1999.

Citing Speeches or Lectures

Name the speaker, the title of the speech, the name of the occasion or sponsoring organization, the location, and the date. If you can't get all this information, provide as much as possible.

Bernback, Linda. “Golf for the Beginner” New England Regional Golf Association Yearly Meeting. Burlington, New Hampshire 3 May, 1999.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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