3 ways to cite class notes

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3 ways to cite class notes
3 ways to cite class notes
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In some research papers, you may want to refer to notes from a class or other handouts from a course or workshop. The purpose of a citation is to allow readers to locate the material you refer to in your document. If you want to cite these notes, you should probably contact the professor. While all citations typically include the same information, the format will vary depending on whether you use the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago style.

Steps

Method 1 of 3: MLA Style

Cite Lecture Notes Step 1
Cite Lecture Notes Step 1

Step 1. Begin the full quote with the instructor's name

Put their last name first followed by a comma and then their first name. At the end of the name, put a period.

  • Example: Kent, Clark.
  • If you are going to use your own class notes as a reference, the citation should be to the class itself, not to your personal notes. Therefore, you must also include the name of the instructor as the "author" of the class.
Cite Lecture Notes Step 2
Cite Lecture Notes Step 2

Step 2. Enter the title of the class or presentation

After the instructor's name, enclose the title of the class or presentation in quotation marks. If you're citing a written brochure or slide show, use the title of that document. Include the title by capitalizing the first letter of the sentence and also in proper names. Put a period at the end of the title after the closing of quotation marks.

  • Example: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century".
  • If the class does not have a specific title, include a brief, general description of the class topic.
Cite Lecture Notes Step 3
Cite Lecture Notes Step 3

Step 3. Include the date, the name of the course, and the name of the university

If you're citing slides from a presentation or the class itself, put the course name first followed by a comma. Put the date of the class in the format of day, month and year, and then put a comma. Write the name of the university where the class was taught followed by a period.

  • Example: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century". Political Science 230, February 27, 2018, Metropolis University.
  • If you are citing a course brochure, place the name of the university immediately after the course name followed by a period. Use the word "Received" and then write the date you received the brochure using a day, month, and year format followed by a period. For example: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century". Political Sciences 230, Metropolis University. Received February 27, 2018.
Cite Lecture Notes Step 4
Cite Lecture Notes Step 4

Step 4. Identify the type of document you are going to cite

In the last part of the quote, include a description of the medium used. If you are going to cite the class in its entirety, use the word "class." Finally, close the appointment by placing a period.

  • Example of a class: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century". Political Science 230, February 27, 2018, Metropolis University. Class.
  • Example of a brochure: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century". Political Sciences 230, Metropolis University. Received February 27, 2018. Class brochure.
  • Example of a slide show: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century". Political Science 230, February 27, 2018, Metropolis University. Presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Cite Lecture Notes Step 5
Cite Lecture Notes Step 5

Step 5. Use the instructor's name for citations in parentheses

When paraphrasing or citing the class or making notes about a class in the body of your work, place a quotation in parentheses at the end of the sentence with the name of the instructor who taught the class. If your document has slide numbers or page numbers, include them. If not, just use the instructor's name.

  • Example with slide numbers: (Kent, slide 5).
  • Example without page or slide number: (Kent).
  • If you are citing the class itself and using your own notes, do not use page numbers.

Method 2 of 3: APA Style

Cite Lecture Notes Step 6
Cite Lecture Notes Step 6

Step 1. Write the name of the author of the notes starting with his last name

Write the last name of the person who wrote the notes followed by a comma. Then put the initial of his first name and put a period. If the notes do not include the name of any author, use the name of the instructor who taught the class. You could also put the title first instead of the author's name.

Example: Lane, L

Cite Lecture Notes Step 7
Cite Lecture Notes Step 7

Step 2. Put the year in which the notes were taken in parentheses

Leave a space after the period that follows the author's name, and then write the year the notes were taken or published in parentheses or brackets. If no date appears, use the abbreviation "n.d." and places a period after the closing parentheses.

Example: Lane, L. (2018)

Cite Lecture Notes Step 8
Cite Lecture Notes Step 8

Step 3. Include the full name of the course or presentation in italics

The “title” of the class includes the unit code and the name of the course. Put a comma after that name and then write the specific title of the class or the week in which the course that the class belongs to has taken place. Capitalize the name of the class.

Example: Lane, L. (2018). POLS 230: Alternative Approaches to Fighting Crime, Notes from Week 6

Cite Lecture Notes Step 9
Cite Lecture Notes Step 9

Step 4. Add a description of the medium in brackets

After the title, leave a space and describe the type of document you are referring to. Typically this will be a slide show, class handout, or class notes. Place a period after the closing brackets.

Example: Lane, L. (2018). POLS 230: Alternative Approaches to Fighting Crime, notes from week 6 [class notes]

Cite Lecture Notes Step 10
Cite Lecture Notes Step 10

Step 5. Include a URL if applicable

If the instructor or presenter has posted their notes online, write "Retrieved from" and end the citation with a copy of the full direct URL or permalink. Do not put a period at the end of said URL.

Example: Lane, L. (2018). POLS 230: Alternative Approaches to Fighting Crime, notes from week 6 [class notes]. Retrieved from

Cite Lecture Notes Step 11
Cite Lecture Notes Step 11

Step 6. Use the author's last name and year for in-text citations

When paraphrasing or citing class notes, put a parenthesis at the end of the sentence that includes the author's last name, as well as the year the notes were written or published. Place a period after the closing parentheses.

  • Example: (Lane, 2018).
  • For citations, include a slide or page number if available. For example: (Lane, 2018, slide 7).

Method 3 of 3: Chicago Style

Cite Lecture Notes Step 12
Cite Lecture Notes Step 12

Step 1. Begin the citation by including the instructor's name

Put the instructor's last name first followed by a comma and then write their first name. Finally, put a period at the end.

Example: Kent, Clark

Cite Lecture Notes Step 13
Cite Lecture Notes Step 13

Step 2. Write the title or topic of the class in quotation marks

If the class has a specific title, use it. If not, include a short, basic description of the class topic. Capitalize the first word of the title, as well as proper names. Finally, put a period after the closing quotation mark.

Example: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century"

Cite Lecture Notes Step 14
Cite Lecture Notes Step 14

Step 3. Identify the place and time when the class was taught

Write “class” and then the name of the course, the name of the university, its location and the date the class was taught using the format of day, month and year. Separate these items using commas and put a period at the end of the date.

Example: Kent, Clark. "Superheroes in the 21st century". Class, Alternative Approaches to Fighting Crime, Metropolis University, Metropolis, New York, February 27, 2018

Cite Lecture Notes Step 15
Cite Lecture Notes Step 15

Step 4. Set the format and punctuation for the footnotes

In footnotes, the instructor's name appears beginning with the last name and then the first name, followed by a comma. Enclose the class title in quotation marks without any punctuation marks. Include information about when and where the class was given in parentheses. At the end, place a period after the closing parentheses.

Example: Clark Kent, "Superheroes in the 21st Century" (class, Alternative Approaches to Fighting Crime, Metropolis University, Metropolis, New York, February 27, 2018)

Advice

When using parenthetical citations, include only information within them that did not appear in the text. If you use the instructor's name in the text, you don't need to include it in the parenthetical citation

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