A Comprehensive Manual On How To Cite Your Sources In A Research Paper

Bibliographic citations are a must for writing a truly high scoring academic paper as all the colleges and universities require their students to cite the sources from which they draw information properly. Many students ignore this part and end up scoring poorly in college and university exams. You need to understand that if you borrow ideas or information from some other researcher or scholar or author, you should duly acknowledge the actual author or publisher for the information or idea you derived. Here’s a brief guide on how to cite your sources in an academic paper.

The groundwork

Many students commit this common mistake of not listing the sources as they move on with their essay. You might visit scores of sources for deriving information while writing your piece. However, if you list your sources in a separate word doc or notepad, it would be easier for you to glance through the list once you are done with writing and find the sources for citing. This groundwork is required.

What information you need to include?

Generally speaking, if you are deriving information from a book, you need to cite its title, author’s name or editor’s name, publishing place and date, and the name of the publisher. If you are deriving idea or information from an article on the internet or in some journal, you need to cite the title of the same, title of the website along with its web address (URL) or title of the journal in which it was published, issue number and volume, page numbers and the publication date. For electronic sources, you need to mention the name of the database and the publisher of the database in addition to the details you need to include for a journal article.

Follow the correct format and mechanism

There are at least eight different styles followed by leading colleges and universities and you need to closely follow the style guides before preparing the bibliography section. Your university might instruct you to write in MLA, APA or Harvard style and you need to know the basic differences between these styles.

Ask your instructor

If you are not very sure which specific academic writing and citing style you need to follow, you may ask your instructor as he is the best person in this regard to guide you properly. By asking an instructor, you can easily write the research paper and cite the sources in the correct format and style.

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