Citing Sources In Your Research Paper Properly: 7 Things To Remember

When writing a scholarly work (i.e. research paper, essay, dissertation, etc.) it is very important to properly cite all the sources that you use. Citing means demonstrating in your text that you have taken some ideas, figures, tables or images from another place. When making citations, take into consideration that you do this accurately, completely and consistently throughout your paper.

Here are seven things to remember in order to make proper citation in your work:

  1. 1. First of all, citing is the basics of science. If you use quotes in your scholarly works, it means your ideas are grounded and well-researched.
  2. 2. By citing you demonstrate to the readers of your paper that you have done thorough research on the subject. This is important, since science is based on facts, not the guesses. You have put effort in researching a certain subject and you are able to demonstrate it with proper referencing.
  3. 3. Citing helps you avoid plagiarism, which is passing somebody’s ideas off as you own without giving that person a credit. Basically, plagiarism is cheating, stealing of intellectual property. It is considered a serious offense in scholarly circles, and the best way to avoid it is to give credit to the author of the idea – by citing or quoting.
  4. 4. When you make proper citation in your scholarly paper by means of footnotes, endnotes or reference list, your readers are able to trace down the sources that you have used. This gives more credibility to your paper.
  5. 5. You need to choose one reference style for your paper and use it consistently: for the title page, in-text citations, footnotes, and a bibliography.
  6. There are several popular citation styles in modern scholarly writing: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago (or Turabian), etc. Take time to study each style, pick one that you consider the most appropriate for your work and use it throughout your paper.

  7. 6. Regardless of what citation style you use, each of your reference entries must contain the following information:
    • - Author’s name
    • - Title of the book, article, journal, etc.
    • - Date of publication
    • - Publishing house
    • - Pages

    There are some differences depending on whether you quote a book, an article, or, for example, a scholarly website, but the basics are the same.

  8. 7. Finally, proper citing shows that you are a good scholar and you give credit to other researchers, you respect their efforts, acknowledge their ideas and find them helpful for your research.

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