What is a citation? What is a bibliographical reference? What is a reference?
They are one and the same and can be defined as follows:
A citation is a short, multi-part description of a specific information source.
A citation provides the necessary information to find the cited source.
A citation is used to give credit to the sources you use to create an intellectual work.
[adapted from Kansas State University Libraries]
Below are examples of the two most common types of citations, citations for books and journal articles:
I. Articles (in magazines, journals, newspapers)
Here is a reference to a journal article as found in an online database:
Here is a citation of the same article based on the APA style guide:
Apostolou, N. G., Crumbley, D. L., & VanDenburgh, W. M. (2004). Ignore footnotes at your peril. The Forensic Examiner, 13 (1), 29-35.
Here is a reference to a book found in an online catalog:
Here is a citation of the same book based on the MLA style guide:
Zerby, Chuck. The devil's details: A history of footnotes. New York: Touchstone, 2003.