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How to Cite Memoirs


A memoir is a type of autobiographical life story. In a memoir, the author focuses on a key period in her life, narrating the events of this period in story form. Usually, a memoir will have a single author, therefore you should cite a memoir as you would any other single-author book. Be sure to check the required or preferred citation style for your paper and adhere to that style's guidelines.

APA Format

Insert an in-text parenthetical reference immediately following quoted or paraphrased material from the memoir in your paper. Start with an open bracket. Write the surname of the author, followed by a comma and the year of the book's publication. End the parenthetical reference with a closed bracket and the appropriate punctuation.

Check your parenthetical reference using this example:

(Erikson, 2006).

Create an entry in your references list for the memoir. This full citation should begin with the author's surname, a comma and his initials followed by a period. Write the date of publication in brackets followed by a period. Write the title of the memoir in italics followed by a period, then the place of publication followed by a colon and the name of the publishing company. End your full citation with a period.

Check your full citation using this example:

Erikson, M. (2004). Life Among the Gorillas. New York, NY: Random House.

MLA Format

Insert an in-text parenthetical reference in your paper immediately following quoted or paraphrased material from the memoir. Start with an open bracket. Write the surname of the author followed by the page number corresponding to the cited material. End the parenthetical reference with a closed bracket and the appropriate punctuation.

Check your parenthetical reference using this example:

(Erikson 324).

Create an entry in your works cited for the memoir. This full citation should begin with the author's surname followed by a comma and his first name followed by a period. Write the title of the memoir in italics followed by a period. Write the place of the memoir's publication followed by a colon, then the publishing company's name followed by a comma and the year of the book's publication followed by a period. Write the medium of publication, such as "Print." End your full citation with a period.

Check your full citation using this example:

Erikson, Marshall. Life Among the Gorillas. New York, NY: Random House, 2004. Print.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Insert a footnote corresponding to quoted or paraphrased material from the memoir. The first time you write a footnote for the memoir, use the expanded format: Author's first and last names followed by a comma, the title of the memoir in italics, an open bracket followed by the place of publication, a colon, the publishing company's name, a comma, the year of publication and a closed bracket followed by a comma and the page(s) cited. End your footnote with a period. Subsequent footnotes for the memoir can be done in shortened format: Author's surname followed by a comma, the title in italics followed by a comma and the page(s) cited followed by a period (See Reference 6).

Check your footnotes using the following examples:

Marshall Erikson, Life Among the Gorillas (New York, NY: Random House, 2004) 321.

Erikson, Life Among the Gorillas, 322.

Create an entry in your bibliography for the full citation of the memoir. This citation should begin with the author's surname followed by a comma, his first name and a period. Write the title of the memoir in italics followed by a period. Write the place of publication followed by a colon and the publishing company's name followed by a comma and the year of publication. End your full citation with a period.

Check your full citation using this example:

Erikson, Marshall. Life Among the Gorillas. New York, NY: Random House, 2004.

About the Author

Victoria Kennedy has an honors B.A. in English from Wilfrid Laurier University. She works as a writing tutor at her university's writing center and also contributed to her campus newspaper.

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