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Skidmore College
Anthropology Department

Citing Sources in Anthropology

Adapted from the American Anthropological Association

This is a brief guide to citing commonly used sources in anthropology papers. For further details, see the web site of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) for the AAA style guide.

An excellent way to learn how to cite sources in an anthropology paper is to look at an article in American Anthropologist, the main journal of the American Anthropological Association. The journal is available in hard copy at the Scribner Library. You can also access full text articles from the journal through JSTOR (see the library's list of Research Databases), and browse library collections related to anthropology.

Three basic guidelines:

  • You must cite every reference that you used to prepare your paper (every book, book chapter, article, web site, video, etc.).

  • Every reference referred to in the text must appear in the References Cited list.

  • The References Cited list only includes those references cited in the text.

Citing references in the text:

References are placed in the body of the text. The citation is placed in parenthesis, with the author's last name, year of publication, and page(s) cited.

Example: (Lee 1993:17-18).

  • Use a colon between year and page number(s).

  • Do not use a comma or other punctuation between author and year.

  • Punctuation is placed after the citation and outside the parenthesis.

  • Specific page citation is mandatory for a direct quote or when referring to a paraphrased statement that is found only in a very specific place in a cited text. The page may be omitted if the reference is to general theme of an entire work.

If the citation refers to more than one work, list the works in alphabetical order by the author's name and separate the items by semicolons, unless they are multiple works by an individual author; in the latter case, the several items of the one author are separated by commas. For example,

(Kottak 1999; Lee 1993) but (García 1982a, 1982b; Lee 1993).

Works by two authors are cited by using the last names, e.g., (Strunk and White 1943). But works with three or more authors are cited as, e.g., (Smythe et al. 1992). The co-authors names are given in full in the References Cited list. References Cited should be alphabetized by author's last name. Multiple items by the same author are listed chronologically. Multiple items by the same author having the same publication date are alphabetized by the first word of their titles and distinguished by (a), (b), etc. Layout is as follows:

References Cited list:

Start the list of References Cited on a separate page after the last page of text. Continue the page numbering. List all the references in alphabetical order.

At the top left margin of the page, write References Cited in bold and the same size font as your text. Include the complete information for all the scholarly references you used to prepare the paper, including the course books, films, and any other materials you used.

Below are links to specific guidelines and examples for some of the most common references students use for their papers (all are PDF files)

Print sources

Electronic sources