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COM 416 Dr. Brian Carroll - Media Law

Basic Principles of Citation

When creating a citation, you generally have four elements that need to be identified in order to cite it correctly. 

  • Author: Who is responsible for this work?
  • Title: What is this work called?
  • Date: When was this work published?
  • Source: Where can I retrieve this work?

Once you identify these elements, you can easily adapt the information to match your chosen citation style. 

Identifying Citation Elements in Westlaw

When you select a record to view from the search results, you will find each element needed to cite the article in the areas outlined below. 


Author(s) information can be found in two locations.  In the header section, Immediately below the title in bold and at the top of the record, above the copyright statement (indicated by the arrows below).  Often, the authors are also listed in the copyright statement itself.


The title of the article is found in bold inside the header of the record and right below the copyright statement.


The date that the article was published is located below the journal/source name and in the copyright statement.


Information detailing where to find the article is found in the header, to the left and immediately below the bold title and in bold above the journal/source name. 

The source details are found in this order.

  1. Volume number
  2. Abbreviated title of the journal/source
  3. Starting page number.

Locating Page Numbers

Articles in Westlaw are formatted in HTML, and do not show page breaks.  In order to locate page numbers, look for an * paired with a number within the text.  (i.e. *170)

For example:

Page 167

So what is social media anyway? Social media has been defined as "forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social metworking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share (yellow highlight begin *167 end yellow highlight) information, ideas, personal messages,

Page 168

(begin yellow highlight *168 end yellow highlight) quotation...