How Do You Cite a Dictionary?


Quick Answer

How a writer should cite a dictionary used as a reference in a paper depends on which formatting style the writer is using. Both Modern Language Association, or MLA, and American Psychological Association, or APA, which are the two most common citations styles in academia, have specific formatting rules for citing a dictionary. However, other style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, do not require material found easily in a standard reference work to be cited at all.

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Full Answer

A basic dictionary citation in MLA style goes on the Works Cited page and is formatted starting with the name of the entry in quotes, the name of the dictionary in italics, the year it was published and the word Print.

In APA, dictionaries are cited on the References page starting with the editors, if present, the year of publication in parenthesis, the name of the book in italics and then place of publication and publisher.

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