How to Properly Cite Sources

One of the fundamental tasks of writing a research paper is gathering evidence to support your work. The main aim of citing is to let the readers be aware that a particular piece of information you are providing has an author. One needs to give credit to those people who in most cases are referred to as sources, if you use their words, thoughts, or opinions in your research paper. The strength or credibility of your work will greatly depend on the validity of the sources, as well as their quality. Specifically, it demonstrates your ability to represent those sources openly without plagiarizing. One should learn how to cite a source if you quote one verbatim, if you paraphrase a passage that includes complex information, and if you summarize a passage.

How to cite properly? Basic Rules

When learning how to cite properly, make sure to invert the names of the authors (start with the last name), arrange names in alphabetical order by title, and apply three hyphens in place of the name of the author for every entry after the first author.

Proper citations require that if an author appears to be a sole author of a text and the first author in a group of authors at the same time, this single author should be named first. If a work has additional authors, invert only the first name of the author, follow it with a comma, then go ahead and list the rest of the writers.

In order to prove that you know a lot about citing properly, ensure that subsequent lines are indented one-half inch. This is what is referred to as a hanging indent. All references are supposed to be double-spaced. Capitalize every word in the titles of the articles, books, etc. Note that this rule does not apply to “a”, “an”, “the”, and all the conjunctions, with the exception of them being the first words of the title. Underline or italicize titles of books, magazines, films, journals, and periodicals.

How can I cite? Best tips from professional writers.

“How I can cite a paper?” one may ask. This will greatly depend on what type of work you are writing, how you are using the given material, or the expectations of your instructor.
Firstly, one needs to think about how to identify the sources. In cases you have sources that are crucial to your ideas, you need to acknowledge the author and his work in the introductory sentence.
However, if you are learning how to do citations for making minor points, you may think of using related references, endnotes, and footnotes.

There are also various forms of citations for different disciplines. For instance, when you cite a reference in a psychology paper, a form of citation used is likely to be different from the one in an English class paper.

Finally, it is wise to always consult your instructor to determine the kind of quote suitable for your paper. One can save a lot of time or energy by seeking clarification on what style of citation to use in order to be sure how to cite references.

Check your paper for plagiarism before submitting it and other top advice.

  • Plagiarism Checker. Before you submit your work you need to check your paper for plagiarism. Make sure that there are no copy-pasted sentences and paragraphs from the Internet in your work.
  • Check the structure of your paper. Make sure that your paper actually looks how it is supposed to look like. It should have an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion paragraph.
  • Check Citation Writing Styles. The most known citations used worldwide include the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). However, there are other types, like Chicago Turabian, for instance. Check what style is to be used from your lecturer’s instructions.
  • Grammar. Online software can also be used to check grammatical errors in your paper. The most commonly used is “Grammarly”. Though, there are many others, such as Ginger, White Smoke, Spell Check Plus, or correct English.
  • Grade Checker. Paper raters are used to mark your paper and give you a score. It will either tell you to fix your work or confirm that your paper was excellent.