Basic Instructions On How To Cite Sources In An Academic Research Paper

Citing sources in an academic research paper has two important functions: 1) it brings credibility to your work and 2) ensures you are giving the proper credit to borrowed ideas. The further you advance academically the greater the importance you provide the correct citation information both in text and on your works cited page. Here are some basic instructions on how to accurately cite sources:

In-Text Citations

If you need to cite information such as paraphrased information, data, statistics, or an idea that is not a direct quote but is still borrowed from one of your resources, you should include information stating where the content originated from. The most widely accepted method is to include the author’s name and the page number where the information was taken from within parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Short Quotes

For short quotes of three lines or less you should include the exact wording placed within quotation marks all within your regular text. You can choose to have a lead phrase that identifies the original author of the quoted material and the page number within parentheses at the end of the quote. If you have no lead phrase then put both the author’s name and page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Block Quotes

Use block quotes for quotations of four or more lines. These should be indented in block form 10 spaces from the left margin (or two tab keystrokes). You may have a lead in phrase providing the author’s information, but more commonly you should include the author’s name and page number within parentheses as described in the examples above.

Works Cited Page

Lastly, your research paper should include a works cited page listing full details of your resources. These are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name, followed by the name of the resource and the name of the publication. (For instance, “The Declining State of Public Study Space.” Library Journal of Education.) This will be followed by the publications volume and journal number, as well as the year of publication. In the case of books, you should also include the city of publication and the press company.

The above provides you with a good basic overview for making proper citations. However, you should go to this service if you need more in-depth assistance from an academic writing expert with years of experience working on all types of research papers.


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