Selecting unusual citations for research papers

Citations in research papers help provide details about resources used to create the paper. Such sources may be public content such as books, articles, and electronic or digital content. When students are expected to provide citations if it is missing information it may not be considered a complete or correct citation. Yet, some students learn their research papers may not have a set guideline on which citation style to use.

Understanding How to Cite Sources

This is where all the confusion begins when it comes to creating citations for your sources. If you used an article, book, or something printed online, each source has a format of its own in how it should be listed. For instance, with a book you may need to provide the place of publication, date, and publisher. This may be presented in a different order depending on school guidelines. The best way to understand how to cite your content is to review sample citations that detail information to include and how it is presented.

Understanding Why It Is Required

Readers who come across your content need to know where the information came from; at the same time you are giving credit where it is due. A significant reason many students associate citation of sources includes avoiding plagiarism. Colleges and universities take plagiarism seriously and you could be punished if found copying content word for word, or not crediting your sources properly. The concept is used in other writing concepts outside of school, with several career field utilizing citation concepts. This is another reason why it is important for students to under how to properly cite their sources.

Different Types of Citations

In some cases your instructor may give details on which formatting style to use for your paper. Other times you may be required to reference sources used, but you may get confused on how to do so. There are 3 formatting styles that are most common to students such as MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago Style.

Each style is different in its own way. You can cite each source you use with either style, but it helps to look at samples of each to understand their differences. Turabian, Harvard, and other unusual formatting styles are not often considered by students for research papers, but on rare occasions. Such styles may work better on other types of writing or the common styles most are familiar with may be easier to execute.

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