How to Cite a Catalog
With their voluminous amounts of information on the era that published them and their wide use in colleges and libraries, catalogs can make highly useful reference sources. Yet in spite of their usefulness, there is very little information information available on how to cite them in any format. Rules for citation in the common APA, American Psychological Association, format used in the social sciences and MLA, Modern Language Association, format used in the humanities, are fairly straightforward. Once you know their rules, a methodology for citing catalogs can be discerned.
Write the name of the author followed by a period. Since most catalogs are published by companies or organizations, put that name as its author. If you were citing the course catalog for Baker College, for example, you would write "Baker College." first.
Put the publication date in parentheses, with the year first, then the date, followed by a period. To cite the 2010 Baker College course catalog, you would add "(2010 1 Aug.)"
Write the name of the catalog in italics, followed by a period, giving you so far, "Baker College. (2010, Aug 1). '2010-2011 Catalog.'" with the words between the single quotes in italics.
Write "Retrieved From," followed by the URL if the catalog was online. The final citation will look like this, except again with the words between the single quotes italicized.
"Baker College. (2010, Aug 1). '2010-2011 Catalog. Retrieved from
Write the author's name first, followed by a period. "Baker College."
Write the name of the catalog next in italics, followed by a period. "Baker College. '2010-2011 Catalog.'"
Write the publication date with the day and month first, followed by the year, followed by a period. "Baker College. '2010-2011 Catalog.' 1 Aug. 2010."
Put the page number or numbers used, followed by a period.
"Baker College. '2010-2011 Catalog.' 1 Aug. 2010. 441-442."
Find the medium of publication. If the catalog was online, write "Web." if it was in print, write "Print." MLA no longer requires use of URLs in web citations, but some instructors may nonetheless still require them. If yours does, put it next bracketed by "<>". The best idea is to check with your instructor first.
Your finished citation with URL cited should look like this:
"Baker College. '2010-2011 Catalog.' 1 Aug. 2010. 441-442. Web. https://www.baker.edu/departments/admissions/currCatalog.pdf."
Derek M. Kwait has a Bachelor of Arts in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh and has been writing for most of his life in various capacities. He has worked as a staff writer and videographer for the "Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh" and also has training writing fiction, nonfiction, stage-plays and screenplays.