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NSP: Microbial Musings

Strategies & tips for locating resources for your research project.

Citation Format Model for Essay

Microbial Musings: Citation Format Model for Essay

Use citations to document references to any sources. These must appear both in the body of your text (superscript numbers) and at the end (superscript numbers that match precisely with in-text numbers and include full bibliographic information).

Why we chose this model:

  • The following examples represent one of the standard models currently in use in the sciences.
  • Publications in any field make use of a standard citation model. All citations are internally consistent within that publication, which helps confirm an author’s control over material and willingness to help readers find any cited reference as easily as possible. Using a standard model is good practice for any writer (such as YOU!) who may decide to publish something in the future.




Align bibliographic citations with in-text citations using superscript numbers. In the body of your text, if you quote or reference, do so like this:

“…Hooper and Gordon write something you need to highlight here through direct quotation because it’s crucial to show your readers their exact words.” (1)

Then offer the corresponding source in your references list on a separate page at the end of your paper in the same sequence, with the superscript number first.


General guidelines:

  1. Use “References” (without quotation marks) as the title of your last page – to signal it’s the bibliographic information page.
  2. Indent second lines of any citation 5 spaces. (highlight the block of references in MS Word, then select: “paragraph” “indentation” “special” “hanging” – set box to “0.5”)
  3. Use the same font and font size as the body of the paper- we recommend Times New Roman 12 point.
  4. Single or double space consistently.

                      Example:        final page break                                                                                     

                                                       References (ß Center title of your final page)

(1) Hooper L.V., Gordon J.I: (2001) Commensal host-bacterial relationships in the gut. Science 292: 1115-8.

(2) Camus A: (1991) The Plague [1948]. New York, NY: Vintage International.

Overview of Basic Citation formats for References lists at end of your text:

Journal articles, books, web sites

For Journal articles

Author’s Last Name First Initial, Author’s Last Name First Initial: (Year) Title of article. Journal Title volume: page range.


Hooper L.V., Gordon J.I: (2001) Commensal host-bacterial relationships in the gut. Science 292: 1115-8.

For Books

Author’s Last Name First Initial: (Year) Title of book. City of publication, State Initials: Name of Publisher.


Camus A: (1991) The Plague [1948]. New York, NY: Vintage International.

Note: If a book was originally published at a certain time and then reissued later (as is common for novels that become classics but also other kinds of reissued books), you may signal the original date of publication in brackets after the title, as you see done in the citation above.

For Web pages

Page title or heading: Subtitle of specific page. Retrieved full month date, year from Site source/publisher. website: full url


Cholera-Vibrio cholera infection: Epidemiology and risk factors. Retrieved March 19, 2013 from Centers for Disease Control. website: