The reason for having citations is to enable the reader to find the material you are referring to quickly and easily. So even an informal system must serve this purpose.
I. ANCIENT AUTHORS
Ancient authors are cited by Book, Chapter and verse, just like the Bible. For example, if you want to cite a passage in Plutarch's Life of Caesar, the citation would look like this: Plutarch, Caesar, 25. A quotation from Livy's History of Rome first book, chapter three, verses 1-5 would appear as Livy 1.3.1-5. Pages numbers are meaningless for classical quotations unless the reader uses the identical edition as the writer. By using this standard method, the reader may go to any edition and look up the identical passage and find it.
You may use internal citations for short references in the middle of sentences. For example, if you wanted to cite a particular passage from Plutarch's Life of Caesar as evidence, simply put (Plu., Cae. 13) at the end of the sentence. You might end up with a sentence like:
According to Plutarch, in 60 B.C. Caesar requested permission to stand for the consulship in absentia (Plu. Cae. 13).
Please take note of the proper punctuation - - no punctuation mark before the parentheses, a period after the parentheses.
You may use the standard abbreviations of the ancient authors' names: Plu. = Plutarch; App. = Appian; Cic. = Cicero; Caes. = Caesar; Sall. = Sallust. You may use the standard abbreviations for the titles of ancient works; BJ=Bellum Jugurthinum/The Jugurthine War; BC= Bellum Catilinae/Conspiracy of Catiline. If you have questions about abbreviations, you may consult The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3nd edition, or ask the instructor.
Do not cite works you have not consulted yourself personally. If a modern author says "Plutarch records that Publius Clodius was a man of noble birth . . " you must look up the passage in Plutarch before you cite it in a footnote. Any quotation of a classical source must be footnoted and the name of the translator indicated.
II. MODERN AUTHORS
Your papers must include a bibliogaphy of ancient and modern authors in proper format. This allows your readers to see at a glance what you consulted. With a complete bibliography. you can then use abbreviated internal citations in the footnotes of your paper. For example, in a discussion of Tiberius Gracchus' agrarian law, you might want to cite an article by Henry Boren, "The Urban Side of the Gracchan Economic Crisis"; you would have the full citation in the bibliography. You could have something like the following sentence.
Boren rejected the prevailing view that the economic problems were mainly rural and agricultural and argued instead that it was an urban economic crisis that precipitated the political turmoil in 133.1
1 Boren, Urban Side, p. 890
III. STANDARD REFERENCE WORKS IN THE CLASSICS
a. Oxford Classical Dictionary. Lists entries in alphabetical form, gives a short description, and lists ancient sources at the end of the entry. The VMI library has both the 2nd and 3rd editions.
For a paper on Hannibal, for example, one would look up Hannibal under "H" and see that Livy and Polybius are our major sources.
b. Cambridge Ancient History. A large encyclopedic collection of articles on the ancient world listed in Chronological order. Find the volume that covers your topic and check the index to see what is listed.
c. L'Année Philologique. The single most valuable resource for finding articles on ancient topics. Each volume covers a single year and lists everything published on classical topics in that year. Check the index for the latest year and work backward. The newer volumes are indexed by place names, proper names, author's names, etc. This work is in the reference section at W&L.
d. Journal Articles. The major journals in classics at W & L are Journal of Roman Studies, Journal of Hellenic Studies, Classical Review, American Journal of Archaeology, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Phoenix, Classical Journal, Classical Philology, Classical World, American Journal of Philology.