Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. A student of mine has quoted two different popular periodical articles by the same author, written in the same year. We are stumped as to how the in-text citation and the reference list entry should look. It seems simple with books (e.g., 2009a, 2009b). But with periodicals, date information beyond the year is given in the works cited list, right? Any suggestions?

A. The trouble is, journals use various incompatible means for dating individual issues, whether by month, season, or number, so the order of publication is not always apparent. For this reason, it’s best to disregard information other than the year in styling author-date citations. The simple method you use for books works best for journals as well: order the titles alphabetically and assign a letter to the year.