Suggestions on Citing Pages
in this website

These suggestions are for readers who are writing a paper and need to show where they got some information.

Your teacher or the publication for which you are writing may have specified the exact form a citation should take (APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, and so on.)  In that case you should of course follow their guidelines. The MLA recommendations for citing web pages can be found at

Otherwise, we feel a useful citation of a SIZES entry should include the following five elements:


Use “Editor” unless a byline appears at the end of the page or a section of a page.

A few pages are reprints of articles or primary sources.  In those cases, apply the usual rules for that genre (for example, for government documents), treating the web site as you would a reprint publisher.

Title of entry

The title is the phrase that appears on the screen as the headline at the top of the page, to the right of the SIZES button. It is not the HTML title, that is, it is not the phrase that appears within the <title></title> tags in the page's code, and that some browsers show as a label on the window.

If a definition has many numbered sections, and you are referring to material in only one of them, it is helpful to give the number of the section.  For example, “League. (Definition three.)”

The URL of the page

Give the full URL of the page, not just the site. For example: This information appears on your browser.

Date of last revision

Absolutely essential!  Content of pages can change from day to day.  This information is given at the bottom of each page.

Date on which you accessed the page

Helpful information should we fail to properly update the date of last revision.

An example of a well-formed citation:

Editor. Preferred numbers. Last revised 1 Feb. 2006. Accessed 14 Feb. 2006.

The guide we follow for our own citations, and highly recommend, is:

Mary-Claire van Leunen.
A Handbook for Scholars. Revised Edition.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.


A citation tells a reader where the author got a quotation, or informs her of the source of a particular piece of information. Citing a work is not the same as gaining permission to reprint it. It is illegal to make copies of Gone with the Wind even if the person doing so includes a citation like

Selznick, David O., producer, & Victor Fleming, director.
Gone with the Wind.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939.

on every copy.

In the United States, the doctrine of fair use allows authors to quote small portions of work copyrighted by other people. This right is essential to the benefits we all enjoy from a public press, and it ought to be protected by NOT requesting permission to quote such small pieces. However, fair use does not extend to reproducing, for example, whole poems, an entire story, an illustration or a large table, especially for commercial purposes. (A fact cannot be copyrighted; there is continuing legal controversy about whether collections of facts recorded in a particular way–a database–can be copyrighted.)

Quoting the actual words of another author without citing the source is plagiarism. In reputable colleges and universities, it is grounds for expulsion. Recently the careers of several journalists ended when it was discovered that portions of their articles were plagiarized.

We welcome links to our site and fair use of its contents, but reproducing whole entries, illustrations or entire tables from requires written permission from Sizes, Inc.

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