How to Cite a Course Reader


Using the correct form of citation requires some attention to detail. Different professors prefer different style guides, so find out which one your professor wants you to use: APA, Chicago Manual, or MLA. Most professors want you to cite your sources both in the text, as you use them and at the end, listed in a works cited or references section. The in-text citation is a brief parenthesis, while the references citation gives publication information. In the case of a course reader, you will usually have to give information for both the original publication and the reader itself.

APA Style

  • Look at your course reader's publication information to find the year it was first assembled and the instructor who assembled it. You will use these as your publication date and editor. If no instructor is listed, use the name of the department as the editor. If no publication date is listed, use the current semester.

  • Cite your source in the text. After you name the author/s of the article, include a parenthetical citation thus: (original year of publication/the reader's year of publication, page in the reader). If your article was first published in 2002, your reader was published in 2010, and the article is on page 60 in the reader, your in-text citation would look like this: (2002/2010, p. 60).

  • Cite your source on your references list. Begin with the information for the reader, not the original article:

    Author. (Date). Title of Article. In Name of Professor (Eds.), Course Reader Title (pp. beginning page-ending page). University: Publisher.

    Then, add the original publication information to the end:

    (Reprinted from Original Journal, edition, pages, date.)

Chicago Style

  • Locate the same information as you would for the APA style: the year the reader was first published and the course instructor who published it.

  • Cite your source in the text thus: (Author course reader publication date, course reader page). Note that there is no comma between the author and the date.

  • Cite your source in your references section thus:

    Author. Course reader date. "Title of Article." In Name of Course Reader, edited by Professor Who Compiled It, page-page. Printing location: Printer.

    Then, add the original publication information:

    Originally published in Name of Original Publication (Publisher location: Publisher, date).

MLA Style

  • Locate the year of publication for your course reader and the name of the professor who compiled it.

  • Cite your course in text thus: (Author page). Do not separate them with a comma. Use the page number in the reader, not in the original publication.

  • Cite your source in your references section thus:

    Author. "Title of article." Title of Original Publication. (Original publication date): original pages.

    Add the course reader information:

    Rpt. in Course Reader. Comp. Course Reader Compiler. Publication Location: Publisher, date. Pages.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your source was originally a chapter of a book, rather than an article, use the appropriate format for citing a book at the end of your citation instead of the format for citing an article.
  • Use italics for the names of books, publications and your course reader.


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