The moment students start writing papers for English and history classes, they find out about the mystery of citing sources. This element of writing is crucial. Although, writing proper citations in academic writing is something we all found strange and confusing at first. Many students believe that it’s a waste of time. Nonetheless, the more papers you write, the clearer it’ll be for you why including citations in your essays and research papers is a must.
How to understand citation styles?
When your teacher says to you that you’ll need to include information concerning your research sources in your report, you’ll see that there are numerous ways to do so. You’ll have to dive deep into this aspect of writing and learn a lot about it because there are many ways to format your paper. People made various style guides for researching, publishing, and writing academic papers. You’re lucky because you’ll typically use about three citation styles in your papers.
These are the most typical citation styles for middle school, high school, and college classes:
- MLA 8 format – this style is made mainly for humanities, like history, literature, and English.
- APA 6 format – this style is suitable for the social sciences, e.g., psychology.
- Chicago/Turabian 17 format – this style is great for college topics like a business.
How to understand Citations?
Let’s find out the basics of this topic. What is a citation? A citation shows your readers or teachers the exact sources you used while researching your paper.
A citation can be divided into two parts: In-Text Citation and Bibliography Citation.
In-Text citation directs your reader to the full source of used information. If you use a direct quote, paraphrase, or summarize another person’s work, you must give them credit. The bibliography citation is the second part of the citation, the full source of information. You need to place it in alphabetical order at the end of your academic paper. Depending on the style you used, it can be called works cited page, a reference list, or a bibliography.
Why Do You Need Proper Citations for Sources?
The main point of using citations when writing papers is giving credit to the work of other people. This will drop possible plagiarism charges and separate your ideas and thoughts from the ideas and thoughts of others.
- It lets you lead your reader to the research you performed: Students who read research papers often make use of them by finding other current research on the topic. By leading your readers to your sources, you make their research easier and more efficient.
- Provide credibility to your paper. Using citations will show your teachers that you did an enormous amount of time learning about the topic and will prove that you found as much research as possible.
A final check of your School Paper
After you’re done with writing and formatting your academic paper, do a final check of it. Look closely and make sure that all your margins are correct. Confirm that all the references are properly cited. You should also look through your teacher’s requirements and check whether everything is followed. After that, feel free to turn your paper in!
So, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this article, found out more about citations for an academic paper, and are eager to use it the next time.