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Boatwright Memorial Library

Citation Exercises

This guide is home to the UR Library's collection of citation exercises.



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The following exercises cover six major citation formats—APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago (Author-Date), Chicago (Notes & Bibliography), MLA—and proceed in three parts:

Pt. I           Cite the Source

Pt. II          Scavenger Hunt

Pt. III         Final Exams


You may complete as many or as few of the parts as you like and you may complete them in any order; the exercise sections are neither cumulative nor interdependent. 

But neither are the sections redundant.  Each approaches citation formatting from a unique direction.  


In Part I, you will provide reference page citations for different kinds of information sources—books, scholarly journal articles, policy reports, etc.


Part II provides the reference page citation and asks you both to identify the kind of source to which it refers and to locate the source on the internet. 


Part III provides reference page citations that may suffer formatting errors.  You will attempt to identify and correct these mistakes.


Use of Style Guides

Only a jabroni would attempt to navigate the following exercises without the aid of citation formatting guides.

Corndoggy3000. (2012, February 28).


If even seasoned researchers rely on these style manuals, then you should too—in both practice and real-world applications.

The Reference Sources tab provides access to several of these resources.  Begin with this tab, regardless of which exercise you plan to tackle first. 


DOIs and URLs

This series of citation exercises is limited in several ways. 

Most significant among them may be the general disregard of DOI and URL citation protocols.  This was an unfortunate consequence of technological constraints rather than a deliberate decision.  

Aside from Part II, which asks that you provide the DOI or URL that corresponds to a provided citation, these exercises bracket (i.e., acknowledge but set aside) the writer's obligation to provide web addresses.       

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Nevertheless, please note that all citation formats covered here (i.e., APA, APSA, ASA, Chicago (AD), Chicago (NB), and MLA) require that the writer include for electronic sources the DOI or URL in the corresponding reference page citation

Electronic sources include but are not limited to e-books and e-book chapters, scholarly journal articles, policy reports, and popular periodicals accessed online, digital images, social media, and so on. 

In short, if you accessed the source online, then you should provide its internet address in the form of a DOI or URL.  


DOIs are preferred to URLs and URLs are preferred to truncated URLs (e.g., those provided by, TinyURL, etc.).  The MLA Handbook (2021) explains: 

DOIs are more reliable locators than URLs...because DOIs remain attached to their sources even if the URLs change, and DOIs are often more concise (188).


Avoid citing URLs produced by shortening services...since they obfuscate information when not clickable...and since such a URL may stop working if the service that produced it disappears (196).

Please consult a style manual for DOI/URL guidance specific to your preferred citation format.