I write a ton of magazine articles online. My editor tells me you do not need a works cited as you do in academic work. I am wondering what kind of citing you do need and what I should be doing for that.I am used to citing MLA style so I include a shortened version of the article or source I am using after I use it in a sentence or the writers last name if it is provided. But don't you need some kind of citing for the source at the end of the article you are writing? Shouldn't the writer's of your sources get credit in your article for the information they provided you?

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    What is your target audience? It's a huge difference writing e.g. academic articles and news articles which cite sources which want to remain anonymous.
    – user
    Jul 13, 2013 at 11:52
  • It is a women's magazine
    – Confused
    Jul 13, 2013 at 14:33
  • So so news articles, some style, beauty products, featured females, celebrities, etc
    – Confused
    Jul 13, 2013 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


It all depends on how formal you want to be, and how likely readers are to want to check your sources.

If you are writing about some controversial topic, like politics or contentious social issues, then I'd give citations so opponents can't accuse you of just making stuff up. If you were writing scholarly papers -- which you say you're not -- I'd include sources so other scholars can verify and follow up on your research.

But if you're writing chatty articles, putting citations could look pretentious, and be more effort than it's worth.

When in doubt, give a citation. It's not THAT much effort. I've gotten burned a few times because I didn't include a citation and then later someone asked me for sources, or I wanted to write something further on the same subject and I had no record of where I'd gotten my original information.

Of course if your editor or publisher says not to give citations, and if you put them in they just rip them out, then I guess there's not much point.

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